Being “private” online no longer exists. Employers are now asking for your Facebook address on job applications, checking your Klout score and looking at your contacts on linkedin.
Most people have a friends list longer than they do family members and likely have never spoken to these people, yet on a daily basis will happily upload pictures of themselves drunk, in front of a mirror in their messy bathroom, their kids and other things that they likely really don’t intend for the whole world to see.
The total number of sex offenders in the United States according to Statistic Brain is 747,408. What does that mean? That means that chances are you know one, are one, or are unknowingly being naïve and exploiting pictures of your children to them.
That said, not all of them are pedophiles and we also have to trust human error, wrongful convictions and all of that BUT the number is staggeringly scary, which is why I DO NOT POST PICTURES OF MY CHILDREN ANYWHERE ONLINE! EVER!
As a victim myself I know first-hand how easy it is to be violated by someone. I had pictures taken of me when I was 14 and had been slipped drugs. I didn’t even know about them until I heard the police were searching the schools with the pictures trying to find out if “the girl” was under age. I never came forward or accused my then boyfriend because we always did drugs and I was too naïve to think this was really a violation. Instead, I skipped school and hung out with him until the police finally gave up their search. He is not registered.
My next boyfriend was the son of a Minister. I was raped, beaten, forcibly confined for 5 years and eventually everything ended my escape. He was no longer my boyfriend but my captor. He was charged and convicted of over 14 things. He is listed. His father and brother were also charged. They are not listed. Several of his friends were charged. They are listed.
My point? The lucky people who have never dealt with this type of abuse have this innocent quality where they think that placing a picture of their kid doing an awesome jump into the lake is great and for most people it is seen for what it is, but there is always that one person who you can’t be sure of and chances are, if they aren’t in jail then you don’t know who they are or what thoughts they are having while looking at your child.
The friend of my captor who went to jail, he told me that he liked to look at kids and do his thing because their innocence was so appealing and attractive. I tried to understand, but I just can’t. Yet, when I think about posting a picture, when I see other peoples pictures I can’t help but think about all those people out there who love to look at simple innocent pictures of kids.
One thing I learned in my years as a captive is that “pornography” doesn’t necessitate skin, touch, or anything that we wouldn’t normally see. The above mentioned person had a childlike spirit and came across as great with children. He also watched shows like Sailor Moon and other popular shows of the time that kids enjoyed. It was like his body grew up but his mind didn’t.
That’s what scares me. People think that because they have things set to private that they are only sharing with their friends, but what if your friend shares the picture? What if your friend saves the picture and posts it at a later date or somewhere else? The fact is, you just don’t know and when you have several million users on Facebook and billions of people on the internet you just don’t know.
So, if you really think you have any privacy online then it is time to think again because guess what? You don’t! You can search just about anything about anyone and find your way right to their doorstep. Hackers are smart like that and with people putting all of their information out there it makes it even easier for the not so technologically advanced to jump right on in to research you.