Monday, September 2, 2013

Cyber Safety

First and foremost: To all the bloggers and social media user readers out there... which I think it is safe to say nearly all of you, PLEASE, PLEASE take the time to watch the following YouTube clip and take the lollypop experience!

In an attempt to get this experience to reach as many people as possible I am sharing it again here.

It really touched home for me as recently I was approached by a stranger through a comment on one of my blog posts, who asked me if the baby in the photos was mine? And then he proceeded to ask me if he could have her photos? With no intention of allowing this, I asked him what he wanted to do with them. He replied, he wanted to put them on his website. I searched for him and only found a Google+ account which had nothing baby/children related on it. I blocked him and it left me with some big decisions to make about my personal blog and the photos I would put on there in future.
So I can definitely relate to the comment “There is no use in taking the ‘it wont happen to me’ attitude, as no one realizes when they are being preyed on.” from ICT’s & Pedagogy.
If this can reach even just one person who changes their settings or re-thinks putting up a particular photo or identifying too much about where they live and prevents this one person from becoming a victim, then this will be worth it.
Also worth mentioning here is Exif. “Have you heard about Exif – Exchangeable image file format? It’s a specification for how ICTs (e.g. digital cameras/phones etc) that handle image and sound files store information about an image. It’s so that all of the software and hardware involved can understand how to read an image or sound they are given.
Did you know that Exif can include location information. In fact, it can include the longitude and latitude at which the image was taken and store that information with the photo. Most modern mobile devices (e.g. smart phones and tablets) include a GPS and will add this information to every photo taken with the device.” as mentioned by David Jones in our learning journey this week at uni.
You can use this website to check your images.
It may be a good idea to be smart about when you turn location services on for photos and when and how to turn it off. This website provides some great tips on how to turn GPS or geolocations off.
We all have some power over how much information we share when we are using the internet and creating a digital footprint. We need to learn how to gain this power and how to use it effectively!
Finally here is a link to a UK website called Thinkuknow which I found very useful. The site covers a range of topics about how to teach students/our children of all ages how to use the internet/phones safely, and shows videos, that can help kids relate to the situations they may face.
Furthermore I have also been introduced to another useful website as a teacher, I think it will be worth it’s weight in gold called Know Your Meme I believe this one would be useful as a parent as well.
I really hope this information can help others but particularly parents out there to protect themselves and their families.


  1. Wow! That video was really thought provoking. I feel a little queasy after watching it. I know I have shared way too much online. I'm pretty sure my photos on Instagram have geolocation information stored on them. I would be devastated if I saw someone had take photos of my son and used them inappropriately. I've always been careful to only upload photos where he is fully dressed - even as a baby. It's just sickening to think about what people do.

    Thanks for sharing this. It is an important message to get out there.


  2. Vanessa, thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It made me feel sick as well. The other thing is that on Facebook all of my settings that possibly can be changed are set to 'friends only' and when I view my profile as 'public' it shows up hardly anything but yet 'take this lollypop' showed all my photos, posts, friends... everything! Very scary. I need to learn more about what I can do to protect my information. When I do, I plan to share what I know to help others as well.

  3. I've got to log in on my computer to watch the clip... I can't see it on my phone but its a subject that I hold really close too! I started a Facebook group called The Dangers of Social Media, after discovering half my daughters Facebook friends had following enabled! They're 13 years old! It scared me stiff! Especially because the girls she talked to didn't know they had followers nor did they know ANY of the older men following their every move!
    I'm an absolute troll on my daughters page about things like location services, but I didn't know the locations could be found in the photo data! That scares me even more!
    I'll be making quite a few adjustments to her phone!
    Thanks for the info Tegan it's a great post!

  4. Thanks for commenting Jen, I didn't know until today that locations could be found on photos either. It is scary, but if you are using it safely I think it should be alright! It is how ever un-nerving that 13 year old girls are oblivious to security settings and dangers though! From what I have learnt recently in uni, teachers should be teaching this at school. I think it is also important for parents to be teaching their children this at home as well.

  5. Thanks for sharing this! EYE OPENING to say the least! We waiver between 'no fear' and 'fear everything' around here.... x

  6. Thanks for taking the time to comment Bron and thank your for hosting the linky! Any chance at getting the message out there. I will be popping back to link some more and to also broaden my reading list. Looks like some great posts come through there!