Cyber Anonymity

I was hoping to spend an hour or two catching up with your comments (I have read them and THANK YOU!!! for posting them) and do some blog visiting, but I’ve been trawling the archives instead, searching for my children’s names appearing in my (almost) 4 years worth of blog posts….some person, or perhaps persons plural is/are accessing posts featuring my kids photos and first names, with alarming frequency…and rather creepily, googling our names (it shows up in WordPress!) which is even more worrying.

My name is on here because I can easily be found online, my name is linked to the work I do for the parish, it’s published in the newspaper and on our parish websites, and it is clearly visible on my photography which for copyright reasons must bear it etc…. there is absolutey no point in assuming another name for myself.

But my children do need protection from possible threat and stalkerish behaviour, particularly in this medium. This isn’t a sudden decision, I’ve been keeping an eye on the searches/pages visited for a while now and have concluded that henceforth, I’ll refer to my daughter as Primadonna and my son as Wonderboy in subsequent posts, having changed their details in as many archived posts as possible.

(I’d really appreciate it if you would help me in this by a) pointing out any posts where there real names are given, if you happen to come across them and b) to refrain from posting their real names in comboxes – that’s the next thing I have to tackle. Many thanks in advance for your help with this)

I wouldn’t have thought measures like this were necessary considering that most of my regular comenting readers are family, friends, family orientated people, but I have been looking at some of the searches which have led visitors to my blog and quite frankly, I’m not liking what I have seen. After all, I might know aboutup to 50% of my visitors, but I don;t know a lot of you personally, and what about the other 50% of visitors who don’t leave comments, who don’t blog?

I’m trying not to be neurotic about it and believe I’m taking a necessary action here.

Anyway, I’ve got to go and stir the bolognese I’m cooking for tea and then I’m collecting the kids from school….I do realise that comments are overdue, and blog visits too, but it just never seems that there is a time when ‘nothing’ is happening of late…promise, I’ll get to it soon! Hopefully this evening!

Hope all is well in your part of the world!

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13 Responses to Cyber Anonymity

  1. Suzanne says:

    Oh, dear, my apology! Didn’t think of such problems,
    but then sometimes we just never do until………..
    I’ll be more watchful for sure.
    God bless you and btw, the word is going around
    about the game in Catholic cyber world. We can all
    do what we can…like we did about The Golden Compass
    and the author there of all that..it can’t hurt. We must.
    I have also informed 3 different priests and hopefully,they will begin to “pulpit talk” about these things some day or the other! Suz

  2. ukok says:

    Suz! don’t reproach yourself, my friend…I had no idea that someone was doing a cyber stalking thing on my family until recently and even when I did I still blogged about Wonderboy by his real name!

    You’ve done nothing wrong at all, no need for apologies!

    (((hugs)))

  3. Christine M says:

    I’ve used ‘blog names’ for my kids almost since I started blogging. It’s not a perfect solution. Sometimes people comment using their real names if they know them. But, I figure those are infrequent enough to not be a problem. Good luck with it all!

  4. Melanie says:

    Oh, what an awful lot of work and stress to add to your days! bleck! I blog with my kids’ first initials only to try & avoid google searches on their names. Unfortunately, we do have a history with a crazy stalker person but I don’t know that this person has internet skills — but better safer than sorry. I hope it all resolves quickly for you.

  5. Mimi says:

    I am guilty of this myself. Good reminder.
    Prayers for Wonderboy continue.

  6. Deb, how do you find out who has done searches that lead to your blog? I refer to my kids names all the time!! This is scary! Should I go back and delete them too? I have a reference even today!!! God bless you, my friend. You’re a good mom.

  7. Esther says:

    That would be pretty disturbing Deb. I am sorry I didn’t do what moms like Chris M have done from the start.

  8. Tom says:

    Wow. This IS creepy. I think that you are acting wisely in keeping the identity of your kids AWAY from blogger, Deb. You just don’t know who or what is watching.

    I personally don’t know the names or recognize the images of your children, so I would not know what to look for in terms of reporting anything back to you. Besides, I like to think the places I visit are sustained by benevolent people who are committed to faith and family. But then again, you just don’t know for sure these days. How sad.

  9. Easter A. says:

    Hi Deb,
    Wonderful post and great reminder!

  10. ukok says:

    Christine,

    You’re right, it’s not a perfect solution and you’re also right that sometimes friends and family might use their actual names….but I’m even so stupid that I keep using their real names in posts and comments even after I have made the decision to impliment this!

    What a numpty I am!

    Melanie,

    I’ve always admired that you’ve stuck to using your children’s first initials when blogging about them. I know that one could say that after my (almost) 4 years of blogging about them by their real names nothing detrimental has happened, but before now I have never seen my full name turn up in 3-6 google searches that have led people to the site each day..or seen up to18-20 hits a day just on the photos of my kids…now I won’t likely stop posting photo’s but no one needs to know their names or certain other stuff about them.

    I think you made the best decision about this when you started blogging.

    I just kind of thought no one would ever read my blog and so I felt a certain level of freedom in writing about my family, including using their names, but as I began to develop online friendships and got more visits each day…and especially since I’ve been getting some really snarky comments lately, well, who knows how crazy the crazies are in cyberspace?

    Mimi,

    Thanks for your prayers for Wonderboy, my friend!

    Rosemary,

    Okay, well with WordPress, it shows a list (not entirely comprehensive I don’t doubt) of the searches done that have led people to my site.

    For example, here is a copied and pasted snippet of some of the searches that have led people to my blog over the last couple of days:

    how to convince parents to get gta
    (hahahahaha – hope they enjoyed my anti GTA post)

    can non virgin become virgin
    (that’s be taking them to my ‘Renewed Purity’ post i suspect)

    should i kick my son out of the house
    (…i think that would have taken them to a page when I was despairing yet again at Wonderboy)

    post menopause virgin first intercourse

    (haven’t got a clue how that bought anyone here!)

    My name has also been googled a lot this week, and photo’s of the kids have been reguar page visits…maybe just by people who are curious about me, but maybe not? They may have been perfectly innocent searches, but it worries me somewhat.

    On blogger, I don’t know if they have that facility, but what you could do is set up a sitemeter on your blog (if you don’t already have one) and that should be able to tell you how people were referred to your website.

    Ironically, I don’t have access to referrals on my sitemeter because of my WordPress blog not accepting the java code, but I could always read my referrals on Blogger using sitemeter, before I moved over to WordPress.

    Hope this helps!

  11. ukok says:

    Esther,

    you and me both, my friend!


    Tom,

    You’re right, it is creepy! I also feel the same way as you, that the places I frequent online, (I’m referring to personal bogs) are written by good, honest, decent folk for the most part….but I guess even then, there’s realy no way of knowing with 100% accuracy about anyone we become involved with online….having said that….I was married to Mr Wrong…and I never met him online!

    My worry isn’t so much about regular readers, it’s the crazies who leave nasty vile comments (I usually catch their comments before they make it to the blog), and the anonymous commenters and visitors who check out my kids pictures numerous times a day.

    Sure, some people may be curious who I am and even about my family, but it’s bizzarre sometimes how many people check out certain posts.

    Easter,

    Thanks!

    Thanks for your support folks!

  12. Rosemary says:

    Deb, that helps a lot. And I do have sitemeter and now I see how do do it. Thanks.

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