A Warning To Social Moms Online

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I’m on Twitter a lot these days, emphasis on A LOT.  I get all sorts of tweets – random what my kids are doing tweets, interesting link tweets, need help tweets, even ones that make no sense to me tweets.  Today I got one from @MomDot that really hit home. She sent this and when I read it I began to think of how something similar could happen to all the moms I know.

Long story short, this mom had a MySpace account and posted pictures of herself and her daughter to share with friends and family.  Not something uncommon and probably something all of my friends have done.  She was contacted by police to inform her that some perv had hacked her account, stolen her pictures and posted them to an inappropriate (read: pornographic) website.

We all get warned about being careful with posting stuff online and how dangerous it is but sometimes we just brush that advice off as being overcautious.  I know I do.  I lose site of the possibilities of their being creepy perverts out there when I’m chatting up really sweet moms about diapers and co-sleeping and breastfeeding.  I don’t even think that someone might be illegally sharing pictures of my family while I’m networking and connecting with amazing professionals who really want to help one another out.

I certainly don’t think about the weirdos when I’m sending cute little messages to update my high school and college friends about Dessa’s latest babble or adorable picture.  It’s a tough thing to think about but if you’re going to have any kind of online social life and you’re a parent it’s important to consider your family in how much exposure you want.  I didn’t mind throwing around pictures of myself on MySpace or MiGente when I was younger; the risk didn’t seem real and to be honest it didn’t matter to me much.  But it enrages it me now to think that someone would have the balls to exploit my child.

To each their own, but this is just a kind reminder that bad things do happen to good people.  With technology, crimes can be committed against you that run deeper than having personal belongings stolen or your car broken into.  You can have something very precious and dear to you exploited in monstrous and disturbing ways.  I’m getting a bit dramatic here and I’m sure being pregnant and watching my 18 month old daughter sleep via our monitor isn’t helping the drama but I can’t help myself.  My heart goes out to this family and I hope the jerk ends up in jail.  I’m headed to all my accounts and taking a close look at how much I’ve already put out there.

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