tdenham's blog

Family photos on the Internet

posted by tdenham, Oct 4, 2006 1:21 AM — 9 comments

The danger of anyone in your family being a victim of any violent crime
simply because an attacker found you on a web page is _extremely_ small, and dramatically overstated by the media and others who like to sensationalize things.

The real risk is not one of being attacked by psychos or perverts; it is a
more mundane risk of allowing personal information about yourself to
circulate far and wide. The Web is a worldwide medium; when you put
something on a Web page, it passes _permanently_ into a global public record
of sorts. This being so, you should not put anything on a Web page that you
would not want to see on, say, the cover of the _New York Times_, or on CNN.
It's not so much that bad guys are prowling the Internet in particular, it's
just that broadcasting personal information about yourself isn't always a
good idea generally. And, since anything put on the Web is released
permanently (once it's out there, there will always be a trace of it on some
server, somewhere), it's a one-way street; you can't call back information
that you release in this way once you've released it.

For example, if you put a picture of your child on the Web, chances are that
no evil monster will attack him or her as a result. However, if, say, your
child runs for President thirty years from now, the media might well dig up
that old picture that was on the Web three decades prior and put it on TV.
If that's not a problem for you, fine; but if it is, think twice before you
post the picture.

In the case of children, this is especially important, since you really
don't know what they'll be doing or what their situations will be decades
from now, and in some cases having old pictures of them floating around
might not be a good idea, although I suppose in most cases it would be
harmless enough.

The main thing that protects you on the Web is being ordinary. Unless you
are of some special interest to others (a movie star, a politician, etc.),
it's unlikely that anyone will care whether or not you post pictures on the
Web. Famous people, though, tend to avoid posting even very innocent
information about themselves simply because so many people are eager to
obtain that information, which in turn increases the risk that someone might
abuse that information once he has it.

I'd say overall that the risks of posting on the Web are different from
other risks, but not necessarily greater.

Comments | RSS

1. posted by esonmez, Oct 4, 2006 11:48 AM

hi all

2. posted by nyuszika, Oct 4, 2006 1:55 PM

This is a very thoughtful post!

3. posted by omar_franc, Oct 8, 2006 10:01 AM

good tip, thanks a lot.

4. posted by TouTouke, Oct 11, 2006 3:13 AM

One of my portraits has been used for political and electorial propaganda! I have read this post too late. After this incident i am not thinking twice but ten times before uploading portraits. Tomorrow it will be posted on the forum (Do not know if this is a good idea). I need some advice! Thanks!

5. posted by xymonau, Nov 5, 2006 1:33 AM

Well, someone recently tracked down another person who flamed them in an internet chat room and bashed them with a pick-axe handle.

Also, being ordinary is what people rely on when stealing identities. I work with homeless men who frequently do this. The organised ones can cause endless problems for the owners of the identity.

I believe in caution.

6. posted by Srini007, Nov 17, 2006 1:03 PM

thankyou for this posting I removed my portrait too.

7. posted by aszxc, Jan 27, 2010 4:36 AM

thankyou for this posting

8. posted by krayker, Jun 9, 2007 9:24 AM

good post! most people really dont care about posting thier personal info all over the net. they havent thought about the negative consequences. and mostly its the fairer sex that usually are innocent, and post more info, and later get into problems too. i have known quite a few individuals who have faced problems due to posting too much info online. if this can happen to friends around us, we might be someday the next victim!

good post. very useful caution for us all.

9. posted by sumppump, Jun 26, 2013 12:59 AM

Ya! I got it. What I was looking for..... Great

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