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Creating Privacy Boundaries On Your Blog

We’ve all heard that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” The same is NOT true in blogging. What you post on your blog can last forever. Even after you’ve taken it down, there can still be traces of what you once put up…and this can have consequences later (sometimes much later) on.

I love blogging, but over the past year I’ve created some Privacy Boundaries for my blog that I don’t cross. Some of you might have similar boundaries you’ve created for yourself…feel free to share yours in the comments below.

Boundaries

Picture Boundaries

  • I share a lot of pictures on my blog. Most of them are tutorial pictures or completed projects. In order to protect the privacy of my friends and family, I have very few pictures with people in them, and even less showing faces.
  • I find ways to post family gathering photos without showing my actual family. Like I did in the engagement party post, and the baby shower post – showing the crafts and theme while omitting faces.
  • I don’t post pictures of my husband (and although I did post a tutorial on the boxers I made for him, I didn’t show the boxers I snagged from his drawer to use as a template. Mostly because if he took a picture of my underwear and shared it with the internet, I’d be pretty upset).
  • I do post some pictures of my son. Of all the things I’ve made, he’s the one I’m most proud of. BUT whenever I post  picture of him, I put a (very faint) watermark over his face, just as an extra layer of protection. It isn’t “foolproof,” but it would stop most who might want to steal his beautiful smile.
  • All my pictures are 100% “G” Rated. No exceptions.

Information Boundaries

  • I think it goes without saying that I don’t share my home address, social security number, or the like. I also don’t share my maiden name (though I love it and am very attached).
  • I don’t share when I’m planning a trip out of town, because I don’t want to “advertise” that my house will be empty and available for burglaries (though I will post about a trip after I come back).
  • I have chosen to share the city I live in, as well as my name. It is a big city, and my name is common. However, I don’t share any other names (my husband, son, relatives, or non-bloggy friends). I refer to my better half as my “hubby” or “Mr. Moore” in most cases, and my son is “Little Moore” or LM for short. There is one time when I “bent” this rule – when we were raising money for the American Cancer Society in my cousin’s name.

Story Boundaries

  • I’m careful about the stories I share. If I think there is even the possibility that I might want to take it back in the future, I don’t share. I’d rather err on the side of caution.
  • I don’t share any angry stories, like arguments with family and friends. I don’t talk about any problems with my son. These things are private. I did post on how to get nailpolish out of the carpet, but I think that even 15-20 years from now my son will still be okay with that one.
  • I don’t share anything personal about my husband, or our marriage. Except that he’s awesome, and I’m the luckiest gal on the planet. But, that goes without saying. : )

Off-Blog Boundaries

  • These are the rules on my blog… but if I guest-post, the rules get even stricter. When I guest-post, I have less-than-zero control over what someone else is going to do with my content. So, I don’t include pictures of my son at all, and I’m even more careful about the personal details I share.
  • I generally follow the above boundaries on Facebook and Twitter as well.

None of these boundaries were created overnight. Many, such as watermarking Little Moore’s photos, were the result of hearing other bloggers’ horror stories.

The over-riding principle is this: I blog for me, with my readers in mind. I’m happy to share a slice of my life online, but I’m going to control how big a slice I dish out.

What boundaries have you created for your blog?

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