What's a Blog?Question: I’ve heard the term "blog" in the news lately. What is a blog and why is it so dangerous?
Answer: A blog (short for "weblog") is an online diary or journal.
A lot of people post very private information out for the world to read, and that can be very risky.
Blogging is not a problem in itself. I guess it’s how the tool is used whether it is safe or not.
Blogging is fun, a great hobby, and an easy way to keep in touch with friends and family.
However, you must know who is reading your blogs.
The answer is anyone. Anyone in the world could potentially read what you write.
Therefore you must be a safe blogger.
Find a site that you can password protect your blogs and only give it to family or very close friends.
This way you can feel free to interact with each other, post pictures, and keep each other up to date on your personal life.
You can try http://www.blogger.com, or do a search for family blog sites to find one you like.
If teens insist on having their own personal space, or a public space they want to share, then they should be educated on the potential hazards of blogging.
Help them find an age-appropriate blog site. Hide the account details, and if the account details are public then don’t put anything personal in there.
Password protect the blog.
If the site doesn’t support passwords, then move on to a site that will.
An avatar is a picture that appears next to your blog. Don’t put your own photo, a photo of your house, or anything else that can be used to find out where you live as your avatar.
You can even hide your blog from being scanned and indexed by search engines.
Check out the FAQ (or frequently asked questions section) on the blog site.
They should explain how to do this.
Blogging has grown from 100,000 users two years ago to over 8 million today. Even small businesses are using it to get an extra edge. They use it to connect and share knowledge with potential clients.
Search engines rank blogs higher than other web site content as well.
Now businesses can not only advertise their products, but also discuss the products in an interactive forum, which can be read thoroughly by anyone.
Again, blogging is not dangerous. It’s how you use it that can be potentially dangerous.
A little discussion on security, a little research, and a lot of caution can ensure safe and enjoyable fun blogging for everyone.
The same safety information applies to Facebook, Bebo, Myspace and all the other popular sites.