Safety Concerns for Your Child’s Blog
The life of a digitally connected child can be rewarding but also risky due to the safety issues that stem from a child creating a blog, a public profile and interacting via that profile with strangers. Like social media accounts, blogging may place your child in the public eye and may allow people that your child doesn’t know to both learn personal information about them as well as contact them.
Create a safe blog profile
Bloggers typically include information about themselves somewhere on their blogs on either an About page or in the blog sidebar or bottom. Help guide your kids to carefully select both the amount and type of information they share about themselves online. Kids creating a public blogger profile should avoid sharing any of the following information on their profile page:
School name and address
Many blogger profile pages include a photograph of the blogger. Discuss with your kids what image of themselves they are promoting with the selection of their profile image. Young bloggers should avoid using profile images that make them look older or are sexual in any way.
They should also be aware of any identifying information appearing in the background such as street signs or house numbers. Your kids may wish to use a photograph that does not show their face clearly or even include an image of them at all. For example, they may want to use a photo of a favorite vacation location or family pet.
Blogger contact forms
Bloggers who share their writing publicly may have readers who wish to contact them outside of blog comments. They may even hear from companies hoping to purchase advertising space on the website. However, I do not advise that young bloggers share their contact information publicly on their sites.
As a workaround, choose from a variety of free tools that can be used to create a contact form on a website. A contact form allows a blogger to receive correspondence from anyone using their site without sharing any of their personal contact information. The form collects the data from the correspondent and then e-mails it to the blogger.
Most contact forms also include filters to keep spam messages from being sent to the blogger. Parents wishing to monitor any correspondence to their child can opt to have the contact form message copied to their email address or even sent only to the parent e-mail address.