You should always be concerned about privacy when using the Internet especially when creating a blog or website which might contain personal information. Every day you hear stories from friends or relatives and on the news about people having their identity stolen or falling victim to various scams on the Internet. What you need to understand is that there are simple ways to approach your Internet use sensibly.
You wouldn’t leave home without locking your door, right? You wouldn’t go to a strange place if you felt unsafe, right? Use your good judgment, rely upon your “gut instincts” and when in doubt ask a fellow genealogy blogger or do your research.
While a blog might look very public and give the appearance of everything being “out in the open,” did you realize that some blogs can be set to private? And access only given to the friends and family members you designate? Did you also know that some bloggers decide to remain anonymous or create a “web persona” similar to a pen name? Investigate all the ways in which you can still maintain your privacy and the privacy of your family members yet still have a public space where you can share your genealogy research and write about your ancestors.
Here are some tips:
- Decide if you want a public or private blog. It is possible to create a private blog and then make it public but much more difficult to begin publicly and then make a blog private.
- Consider a semi-public blog where there is a private section which can only be accessed by family members or others who have the login and password credentials.
- Before you create your blog, if you want to create a web persona, think about a name and an identity you want to use. See if an account name has already been “taken” at major website such as Google (http://www.google.com), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com), etc. Use a site like Usernamecheck.com (http://www.usernamecheck.com). Then create an e-mail account using Google mail (http://www.gmail.com) or one of the many, free on-line e-mail services.
© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee