Blogging Anonymity

My name isn’t really Mary.

(haha)

Seriously, did you realize how easy it is to find addresses and phone numbers on the internet? Google someone’s first and last name, their state if you know it, and often you can find a few leads that give you their private information.

Thankfully, my first and last name aren’t all that unique.

Here are my rules of thumb, because first and foremost, I want to protect my family:

  • I won’t mention real names, other than my own
  • I stick to regions (mid-west) rather than naming my home state
  • I’m pretty careful what I say about my extended family, and my marriage (who knows who might ever get their eyes on this blog!)

We can be proactive and still be “found”. A while back, when surfing blogs, I happened upon one with a little counter in the sidebar that said, “Welcome, visitor from ______,_ _!” I about gasped when I saw my little po-dunk town and state displayed after being on that site less than a minute!

I don’t know if you’ve ever visited MySpace.com. (I don’t recommend it!) But you can type in your zip code and whatever mile radius you wish and find blogs of people in that area. Yeah.

So here are my questions for you:

  1. Do your friends and family know you blog? (in-laws, church family, etc)
  2. If you put forth your real names/locations, please share what made you comfortable to do so. (I’d really like to know, maybe I’m just paranoid!)
  3. Same thing with pictures. Is it really safe to put those out there? So many people block out their children’s faces, etc, while others lay it all out for the world to behold. (And I love pictures!)

I’d love input from all the viewpoints. I’m sure there are areas in which I could be more careful, and perhaps more carefree.

Personally, I like the freedom of anonymity. I can share my strong opinions and not worry about some leftist extremist making a midnight housecall with revenge in mind!

And Mary is my real name. Really.

(This new blog is too hip for me. It won’t let me capitalize when I bullet or number things! Way too cutesy, if you ask me…)