Welcome to Design House Digital’s School of Design. Today, and every single day in September, we’ll have new blog posts; informative, detailed, and FREE classes that will take your digital scrapbooking to the next level. Each subject will have a new post weekly, and at the end of the month you won’t believe how much you’ve learned!
I’ve recently had several conversations with my boys about not talking to strangers. I guess it’s been on my mind. I’m going to give you a similar lecture!
Should my blog be public or private?
If you have a family journal blog, ask yourself this: Are you OK with strangers stumbling on your blog? How about people you know: bosses, neighbors, family members? If the answer to any of these questions is no, maybe you want to lock your blog down.
My sister has a really great blog. She writes in hers like a family journal: everything that she writes about is related to her family. She has even had her blog printed into a bound book at Blurb! Her blog is ultra-private: it requires visitors to be logged-in, registered users that she has already approved.
She has a good reason for it. Her husband has a very sensitive job, and his company doesn’t allow family pictures to be posted on the Internet.
To make your blog private in Blogger, go to Settings > Permissions and select “Only these readers.” That will allow you to specify the people you want to allow to view your blog.
Should my blog be open to search engines?
Another way to go private is to hide your blog from search engines. Fewer people will stumble on your blog, but strangers can still visit. It’s like having an unlisted phone number: only people who know your number will come.
If your blog is locked down, you still need to make sure your blog is hidden from search engines.
To hide your blog from search engines, go to Settings > Privacy and answer “No” to both questions.
I want a public blog! How can I blog safely?
There are so many great things about having a public blog. You can connect with new people who have similar interests, you can get ad revenue, and you can share with the world your really fun, useful projects and techniques! My favorite public blog (besides our blog here at Design House Digital) is my sister-in-law Jen’s blog – The Project Girl. Take a minute and check it out!
1. Have all email go through a “Contact Us” form with a CAPTCHA
If you want to let people get in touch with you, provide a Contact Us form that has a CAPTCHA. A CAPTCHA is a box with funny looking text that you have to type into the adjoining box. It ensures a human and not a robot is filling out the form.
I don’t have instructions on how to do this with Blogger right now; I’ll have to cover this in a separate blog post.
2. Strip Geo-coding out of your photos
Did you know that if you post a photo taken by your phone’s camera, your Geo-location is most likely embedded in the photo? Does that scare you? It scares me, especially when I’m posting photos of my kids. Luckily, you can usually change your phone’s setting to turn this off for good.
If you are using an iPhone:
- Go to Settings > General > Location Services.
- Look for Camera and make sure that it’s turned OFF.
If you are using an Android Phone:
- Go into your Camera app
- Click on Menu, then look for Geo-tag photos
You can also change the metadata in photos you’ve already taken. In the Photoshop Elements Organizer, right-click on a photo and choose “Show Properties.” The address will appear in the properties in the bottom-right-hand corner of the organizer.
You should remove Geo-tagging from any photos you post online, including on Facebook.
If you only post digi layouts, no worries! The Geo-tagging doesn’t carry over from your photos into your digi layout!
3. Don’t post your address on your blog if you can help it
If you’re not selling anything, there’s no need to publish your address. Leave it off, and let people contact you via email.
I hope you develop a habit of safe blogging, and protect yourself, your friends, and your family.