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View Full Version : To everyone who has kids and posts pics of them online/in messages



StephanieAine
December 22nd, 2004, 08:16 PM
A thought:

You may have heard about the young pregnant woman who was recently murdered. If not, you can find a thread on the subject over in "Just Talk" (link below)... but I wanted to mention this, because it has bothered me for a long time. Now that the young mother-to-be was murdered and her baby removed from her body by the murderer... well, I think it's an extremely important thing to consider.

Is it *really* important to show pictures of your baby or child to people you meet online via chat or message boards? Is it really a good idea to have your child's picture in your signature?

Think about it. If you're comfortable enough to have that picture circulating (and remember, these pics can be saved on a stranger's computer), then suppose someone with malicious intent finds out your identity and location? Suppose they want to steal a child. Suppose they want to harm *anyone.* People of any age are vulnerable online; it just *feels* safe because you're sitting in your own home/office while you chat with strangers. But in truth, there are criminals who probably use the net in ways we can't even imagine.

My daughter is an adult now, so the baby picture issue isn't one that I have to deal with. But if you're the parent of a new baby or you have older children, it might be worthwhile to think about whether you should post pictures at all, or whether you need to confine picture recipients to a select few.

I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all; I'm just concerned. That news story was shocking, and I'm sure it gave bad people some new ideas. I hope we don't see such a thing happening again in the news.

This is a link to the thread Shanti started in Just Talk -
"The Net Can Be Dangerous!":
http://www.mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=79470 (http://www.mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=79470)

QUEEN OF THE DAMNED
December 22nd, 2004, 08:25 PM
That makes so much sense hon. I guess we forget about the dangers here often because it is our little community that we feel safe in. But thank you for bringing it to everyone's attention (even though I have no kids of my own) What happened to that poor woman was awful!

Shanti
December 22nd, 2004, 08:32 PM
If someone is going to find out where you are, which I dont see how they would be able to....hacking maybe....they would have to go through a lot of trouble to find info.
The risk of a nut driving by your home and seeing your child playing in the yard and snatching I think is higher.
Technically your kid is in public view quite often. Shopping, out playing and stuff. Abduction risk are there all the time.
Thats why my kids are never out of my sight!!

A pic on the net is uselss without a way to get names and addresses.

lil_suzie
December 23rd, 2004, 12:47 AM
Oh come on it'd be much easier for anyone looking to do bad things
to just pick out someone off the street or follow them home from school,
most crimes done to kids are done by people they already know anyway
like most are done by teachers or friends or family or ministers or
the guy with the ice-cream cart, or whatever. Don't grammas usualy
carry pics in there wallets anyway and show them to anyone and
everyone, how is this any diferent? Maybe we should all just never
leave the house anymore or always wear veils like in muslim places
and put black squares over the faces on all our pictures to and maybe
then we'll be safe.

SilverClaw
December 23rd, 2004, 12:52 AM
Is it *really* important to show pictures of your baby or child to people you meet online via chat or message boards? Is it really a good idea to have your child's picture in your signature? All I am going to say in the matter is yes you make valid points, but to each thier own choices and thus consequnece.

wakywitch
December 23rd, 2004, 02:11 AM
A couple of months ago, I belonged to a mommy group online. We all had pics of our kids in our avatars.
You had to register and pay for the good forums. We wanted to keep the undesirables out.
Well apparently we had a man register as a woman, and he took some of the moms kids pics and posted them on the internet--what a mess.
Didn't get the whole gist of it, but it wasn't very nice!

So think twice before you post your kids pics anywhere!
Wakywitch

~~Cypher~~
December 23rd, 2004, 02:27 AM
thats exactly why I haven't utilized the pics of our kiddos thread

StephanieAine
December 23rd, 2004, 05:14 AM
Oh come on it'd be much easier for anyone looking to do bad things
to just pick out someone off the street or follow them home from school,
most crimes done to kids are done by people they already know anyway
like most are done by teachers or friends or family or ministers or
the guy with the ice-cream cart, or whatever. Don't grammas usualy
carry pics in there wallets anyway and show them to anyone and
everyone, how is this any diferent? Maybe we should all just never
leave the house anymore or always wear veils like in muslim places
and put black squares over the faces on all our pictures to and maybe
then we'll be safe.It's very different. As I said, people can save pics they view on a computer; if an elderly lady shows you a picture from her pocketbook so you can see her cute grandbaby, you can't save the photo somewhere. It's in your mind, but that's all... and details may or may not be remembered.

A criminal, on the other hand, may become infatuated with a photo (think about guys online who become infatuated with girls just because of a picture. Couldn't a molester or killer do the same thing?). A picture can be saved on a computer and even printed out on paper if a person wanted to have a picture to carry around... maybe they'd use that to help them find the person in the picture.

It's not hard to find people online/offline apparently; people have their identities stolen all the time. It's reported on the evening news practically every day lately!

It's not about being paranoid, it's about being aware. Granted, it's not as much fun to think about the scary possibilities, but you can't walk through life with blinders on. I mean, I don't know anyone who has ever been the victim of household robbery, but everyone I know locks their doors.

I'm not saying anything bad about people who do want to post photos of their kids; obviously it's the parent's choice to make. I just brought it up in case people hadn't thought of it and might want to consider it in light of the recent news story. Never hurts to re-think things, right?

lil_suzie
December 23rd, 2004, 05:19 AM
But if someone wanted a picture they could just take it themselves
with a camera anyways when your in public, and prolly do. Your right
that people should think about it tho.

Yvonne Belisle
December 23rd, 2004, 12:35 PM
If you read the article you know that the particular type of crime has been on the rise. Kids raised to know dangers of the street that are well watched by family and friends are safer than others. The pics on the net are not so bad it is just really important that kids know why they shouldn't talk to strangers and the common pick up lines used so they aren't tricked. They need to know why we worry.

skye*
December 23rd, 2004, 12:55 PM
I agree Steph
I like you am scared of just anyone downloading my daughters pic and have never posted it online eccept for family and freinds in private emails. Although yes anyone could see your child on the street and take a snapshot, i do beleive that the most dangerous and
creepiest people are online. Posing as someone there not. Its crazy how on here anyone can find out your identity and where you live. So yes i agree, but we all have our own choices.
If people feel comf doing so than so be it, its not my place to judge.

Ivy Artemisia
December 23rd, 2004, 01:05 PM
I never really thought about it like that. Scary. There are forums specifically for mommy-to-bes, where people post belly pics, ultrasounds, etc. like fertilityfriend, and theknot.coms baby talk board. My co-worker is on them all the time... she posts her belly pics, ultrasounds and stuff there. I'm gonna tell her about the link between the internet and the murder.

diamondtiger
December 23rd, 2004, 01:21 PM
Oh come on it'd be much easier for anyone looking to do bad things
to just pick out someone off the street or follow them home from school,
most crimes done to kids are done by people they already know anyway
like most are done by teachers or friends or family or ministers or
the guy with the ice-cream cart, or whatever. Don't grammas usualy
carry pics in there wallets anyway and show them to anyone and
everyone, how is this any diferent? Maybe we should all just never
leave the house anymore or always wear veils like in muslim places
and put black squares over the faces on all our pictures to and maybe
then we'll be safe.I just sorta skimmed through the thread, so I “kind of apologize” if this has already been said. I don't think however, that it can be stressed enough. Not only will I not post pix of my kids, I won't post pix of myself or any loved one on the net. You are right about predators crawling the cyber world.

lil_suzie, I understand what you're saying about people on the street being easy targets. But, there are some pretty sick individuals online who save these pix, that we so proudly post, and turn them into degrading and humiliating pornography. You'd be surprised at what photo shop can do to a picture. This is why I don't post pix.

Ravyn Sylverwyng
December 23rd, 2004, 04:12 PM
You know, you never know what you are getting yourself into with anyone, even family. I have a sister that would willingly tell any stranger that she would talk to online everything about her and her family, this included all of the details of her siblings lives, mine and my children's lives included. I was infuriated when I learned this. How could someone that you know and love try to even consider posting personal information about you without your consent? Well, it is done. It is a simple matter to learn of a person's identity. There is technology that does it all of the time. Each computer has a very specific isp number that it uses when it connects to the internet. There are programs that will track these number to the provider and the provider can then tell you which of their customers are using it. It is the same number everytime you connect. These crimes are occuring much more frequently and are being exposed much more often. If you think that I am lying about it, just turn to Court tv or A&E and watch some of their programs. I was just watching where they programs to acess your accounts and isp numbers are not that expensive the other night. It was horrifying. They sat in a cafe with a laptop and illustrated this point all to well. This is also the reason that any pictures that I have on my children, I do not keep on my hard drive rather burn them off on to CD's as it is a walk in the park to hack into a person's computer while they are online. I know of a 12 year old kid that can do just that. So, if a kid can do this, imagine what adults can do that have been studying this for years.

Shanti
December 23rd, 2004, 04:30 PM
And where do we draw the line. IP address, tracking.....if we are to worrie all the time do we just never go on the net?
All of us our potential victims as we are online talking and some can get ideas just because they become obssessed with your words.

So where do we draw the line?

Our kids are at risk all the time..do we put them in a bubble? Do we hide ourselves? When is the concern a paranioa?

Are we ever really safe anyhow?

Is keeping pics off the net the answer to staying safe? Is staying off the net altogether the answer?

I dont know. Heck if you sell stuff online, you send stuff with your address on it. Should we not sell anything? Pay for a private PO box? What if they track your PO Box? Maybe stalk you there when you check that PO box in person?

I limit the worrie because I dont want to become pariniod. But I take simple precautions of course.

I worrie more at home in real life.... I am cautious online as in I wouldnt post my Addy!
.....creepy people are everywhere. Thats a fact and its life.

And someone mentioned sending pics only through e-mails...well that is not safe either. Thats why they tell you to never send credit card info in an e-mail. E-mail is not secure.

OriginalWacky
December 24th, 2004, 12:00 AM
While I think it's good to be careful online, there is such a thing as being too paranoid. There are good points to either, and it's a personal choice that each person must make for themselves.

My online life and my offline life don't often intersect. I don't use the same email for family as I do for online things, and I don't give out my address or pictures willy nilly. However, I'm not afraid to post pictures of myself or my family online. I don't live in a bubble or anything, but I'm pretty darn safe (cruddy police around here notwithstanding) in my home.

Having lived in NYC for a few years has taught me a few new tricks to staying safe, and I use them. Before that, I never gave out my info to folks online, but since then, I'll give out limited info. For example, I live in Erie, PA. I'm not afraid to say that, because there are a LOT of people in Erie PA. However, I have NO bills in my name, no lease or house ownership in my name, nothing to identify me here. The Mate does, but nobody, and I do mean NOBODY knows his name with mine.

I don't use my first name online, I use my middle, and it's a very common one. I don't use my last name either. I don't give details about where I work (though it wouldn't hurt any, I'd *love* to see somebody try to break in there with all the guard dogs LOL), and I don't send much of anything through email that I wouldn't mind if EVERYbody saw. (Once in a while a risque joke, but not much more). Our ISP is masked through our internet provider, and the provider serves a very large number of people, so finding us that way is tougher (Note, I don't think it's impossible.)

I've met several people from online (none from MW yet), and had almost exclusively good experiences. In fact, I met The Mate online. I usually tend to meet with folks either at their place (with more than one of us) or somewhere in public. The one time I did take a risk and give my addy out to someone from online and have him come visit, it worked out wonderfully. Of course, I'd been talking to him for almost 4 years before that happened, including much phone time.

When I get the feeling that somebody is not quite what they seem online, I listen to it, and I've found that I'm generally right. In those cases, I use a little more care than usual. I don't give out details that would make me easy to identify (about the most identifiable was my psoriasis, but there are a few million folks who have that too).

It wouuld be kind of fun to find someone rather trustworthy and have them try to find me via online information.

Yvonne Belisle
December 24th, 2004, 08:59 AM
I have met a number of MW people and only had one bad experience. Quite frankly I am more worried about my ex finding me than I am a stranger. All of my family is well armed and even my seven year old knows not to open the door to a stranger. He walks two houses to the bus stop with both the crossing gaurd and myself watching and the local PD keep a squad car there till the kids are gone. My older kids have had people try to pick them up when we lived in California they know the tricks and know to travel in packs. None of us are ever alone. I think as long as you teach the kids how to be street safe you are doing the best you can. The odds of someone becoming obsessed from a pic on the net are pretty low. Most of your potential online stalkers are looking for a specific type of kid and quite frankly keeping your kids pics off the net won't help with that. They are looking for lonely kids who are likely to set a meeting with a stranger off the net. They often pose as other kids. As for the baby snatchers there is a booming buisness in babies even here in the US and has been for years that is why security keeps improving in hospitals each year. People just need to take precausions. If you have a buisness online where you have to meet people like the lady with the dogs did have someone there with you when someone comes for a pick up. You can't watch 24/7 but basic precausions can help. Keep your doors locked at night. Don't open the door unless you know the person on the other side. It is amazing how many adults tell their kids that but don't follow it themselves. If female don't be the only voice on the answering machine. Don't put your first name on your mail box just your initial. Lots of simple things that help with keeping us safer.

Amethyst Rose
December 26th, 2004, 06:19 PM
I think that people are entirely too paranoid these days. Or, maybe I'm just nieve. I don't have any problems posting any of my personal information - first and last name, or the town where I live, (I wouldn't give my address, though) or my picture of my son's picture online. Why? Because I really, truely doubt that anyone out there cares. Maybe it's because I'm Canadian and I live in a small town, so I feel more secure and trust people more. Heck, I don't even lock my doors, except when I leave the house....and even then, sometimes it gets forgotten.
I'm just not scared, I guess, nor can I be made to be.

Tsuchimaru
December 27th, 2004, 05:58 PM
Are we ever really safe anyhow?



Nope. No one is....it's all chance.

Tanya
December 28th, 2004, 08:18 AM
proud as i am of my little one and benign as the intentions are here, I have always felt that their might be some danger to it. I think its fairly easy to find someone if you know what your doing on the web. Yes as Shanti says our kids are in full view at shcool and on the street, but there they are part of a community, who knows who they are, who they belong to and an antannae up for any thing strange going on around them . (Ok i live in a small town, and someone sniffing around a 2 year old girl WOULD be noticed and acted on) On the internet....that pic could end up pasted to a pediphile site or worse...while i'm happy to take my daughte shopping or to the post office.. i wouldn't prance her down a red ligh district in Bangkok!!! but that's the equivalant of where her sweet little face could end up... and so... with some sadness... (because everyone's baby is the 'cutest' baby) i neverput her picture up.

Whispers
February 8th, 2005, 08:26 AM
I've never posted pics of my kids on the net and don't intend to either, this is my own personal decision. I would not criticise others for doing so, it's all down to personal choice.

Kalika
February 8th, 2005, 05:14 PM
It's a good point - and I agree - work very hard to keep your identity safe - its easy to forget that there are people out there who aren't being honest, or who may try to harm someone that they meet online.

And that girl that happened to - that happened not far from my hometown - about 45 minutes away. That's scarey!!!

LightDancer
February 8th, 2005, 06:41 PM
I just took the pics of my kids out of the albums....I guess I'm paranoind :woah:

Jamie

MoonDust
February 8th, 2005, 06:51 PM
Not paranoid cautious.