When is a blog too personal

What does your blog tell strangers? Someone on Blogger help group today asked how personal should one get on their blog. The question asked was : “Is it safe to use real names, ages, work locations, etc or better to make up names with regards to family.”

This got me thinking. When is a blog too personal? Perhaps this is a topic worth exploring more. People are putting a lot of really personal information online. Many blogs openly post first and last names of family members, jobs, city they live in, restaurants they eat at, cars they drive, and even the full names of their children.

You may have already noticed that I don’t use my children’s real names on my blog. I don’t think one should post their children’s name, place of work or school on their blog. Posting photos of your children online is not something that I recommend doing either. I shared a more in depth opinion on this back in February. Do read my post: Is Posting Children’s Pictures Online Dangerous?

Many people will have a different perspective on this. Some people believe it is perfectly save to share their children’s photos on their blog. If you do share photos of your children online I’m not judging you, but I do ask you to reconsider.

You have to remember that anyone can and most likely will be reading your blog entries. Not all strangers online are good citizens.

You should never share your social security number – your phone numbers and your home address on your blog either. Did you know that your personal information, such as your home phone number and address may be listed on the internet already? If it is listed in Google, Yahoo or any other online phone book you may wish to have it removed.

Also if you are employed by a company you might want to ask yourself if the things that you are sharing on your personal blog ultimately hurting your career. Will you receive ridicule from family from things you share on your blog and can you handle that?

With regards to blogging you really need to ask yourself how much information is too much.

Research done by Sophos, a Boston-based Internet security company, revealed that 41% of Facebook users will divulge personal information – such as email address, date of birth and phone number – to a complete stranger, greatly increasing their susceptibility to identity theft.

What do you think? Is blogging dangerous for our privacy? Are we sharing too much? What information do you consider too much or too personal to share on your blog, and how did you come to make this decision?

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