What I learned the hard way: How I protect my family on Instagram

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  • moehut Central Point, OR
    May 13, 2015 1:57 p.m.

    Privacy settings. Use them. Its not necessary to completely forego social media, just be smart about it. Don't have a public profile. Instagram has this setting, and you can't see any private picture unless you are that persons' follower. And second, know your followers!! Don't let just anyone who requests follow you. I understand that as a writer or blogger this is probably difficult, so have 2 accounts, a professional one for the masses, and a personal one for family and friends only.

  • plan-ahead Farmington, UT
    April 12, 2015 2:01 p.m.

    "I wanted so badly to just delete my account, but I also didn't want these bad guys to win!"

    To put it bluntly, when a behavior has extremely negative impacts on you and your family, getting out of that situation isn't allowing "these bad guys to win", it's utilizing common sense to protect yourself and your family.

    Staying online and simply modifying the types of personal information you share doesn't make you any less vulnerable. I can understand the initial naivete of the author because the internet is changing so fast that there is a facade of safety. The thing I don't understand is why she's still willing to even touch social media with a 10 foot pole after being violated by it.

    I just hope this is a warning to any budding bloggers, vloggers, narcissists, etc. The internet isn't a safe place folks. It's as close to anarchy as you can get. Anything goes. Even if it's illegal and beyond disturbing. ISIS and Anonymous are fantastic examples of this. If there's a will, on the internet, there's a way.

  • Big C Murray, UT
    April 11, 2015 1:17 a.m.

    I am shocked daily at the naivety of people who post in any way, shape, or form any information about their minor children. There are deviant, sick, evil people whose AIM it is to prey upon them. This is what predators do. They lurk. They hunt. They sneak. They pounce. Do not fall into their trap - or better yet - do not use your children as their bait.

  • abrandt Fort Worth, TX
    April 10, 2015 11:37 a.m.

    I believe I have resolved much of the privacy issue via a website called ZenMate.

    I just tested my laptop with a website called IP2Location ... which displayed that my IP Address was successfully "stealthified" to another location.

    Here is ZenMate's intro:

    "We route your traffic through our free vpn cloud-network of highly secure servers. This means your personal IP address will not be visible and replaced by a generic ZenMate IP address. You’ll be completely anonymous - untraceable, unidentifiable and secure."

    I hope this proves helpful.

  • Max Upstate, NY
    April 9, 2015 11:00 a.m.

    Okay, I sorta get why someone might be interested in posting things online for family and close friends to see. That makes sense if you have the time. It is an efficient way to share things on occasion.

    What I can't get at all (not even close) is why anybody other than close friends and family would be the least bit interested in looking at what this young woman is posting. I mean, she actually has "followers". I find this simply amazing. Yes, if she was a celebrity I would understand, but she isn't anything extraordinary!(no disrespect or offense intended) Hey, people, get a life of your own!!!

  • Doing My Best Trabuco Canyon, CA
    April 9, 2015 2:07 a.m.

    The author was so brave sharing this...and only in an attempt to really warn and help others. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and I hope that you can have peace of mind for your family after these scary things...and also blessings for trying to protect others! Thanks to DN for publishing such helpful articles as well!

  • Belinda, Melbourne Australia Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    April 8, 2015 8:35 p.m.

    I understand completely where this author is coming from. Many of my friends put everything out on social media not thinking about the ramifications. It isn't until something unexpected or weird happens that they start to realise that it's maybe not a good idea to have everything about your life out on social media. My sister had her FB profile copied because she put all of her information out on social media.

    Whilst the internet and social media is wondering in bringing information and people together, we need to be smart in the way we use it. I never tag myself or my location in anything I do, I have no personal information accessible by the public on FB and I ensure that everything I send out is only shared with the people I want to see it.

    I'm very glad that the author of this article has come to understand that although we would like to think so, the world really isn't a wonderful place.

  • Jack of trades SLC, UT
    April 8, 2015 7:51 p.m.

    I for one have never understood why parents post photos of their underage children online. The poor kids have no say in the matter, and don't know any better. Why would you do this? Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, its all the same.

    It's an interesting generation of kids that have grown up with the internet, and do not know of a world before it. The advice given in this article is sound, but in all reality the only safe way is no way. Even celebs are getting private computers hacked into and photos and info stolen. This can happen to us too, not just celebs. The problem is everybody has to live on the computer today to function in this world. Everything has gone cyber. It's the beginning of a strange and potentially very scary world. I for one don't have an answer, other than don't put online what you absolutely don't have to put online.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    April 8, 2015 5:54 p.m.

    Duh? I guess I must have been this naive once, but I can't remember it! I've been using the Internet since the author was 2 years old so I guess a little wisdom does come with time.

    With prying minds and eyes everywhere, with weirdos able to hook up and fan their flames of deviancy, with law enforcement ever behind, but constantly overstepping privacy bounds, with every government organization militarized, I can't even begin to imagine the scary world my grandchildren will inherit!

    Almost makes me want to join the luddites!

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    April 8, 2015 4:08 p.m.

    Better, you should have the need to have to share anything. This generation's obsession with sharing everything about themselves including what they eat when the go out is what is scary. We have a photo album that WE look at with our kids on family get togethers. Never in the world would we want to share our special moments with the entire world and not so narcissistic to think our family was so special that everyone cared.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 8, 2015 4:03 p.m.

    There is a code of conduct.
    1. Watch what you say.
    2. Don't take any thing to heart or personal.
    3. Never assume anything.
    4. Always do your best.

  • cocosweet Sandy, UT
    April 8, 2015 1:41 p.m.

    I can appreciate the author's love of blogging and Instagram... but is it worth it to expose your family to all the nastiness that is the Internet? Think twice before inviting these people into your house.. If you must do this.. do it anonymously.