For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Facebook Safety--Children of All Ages

I considered putting the topic of children into my last blog post. However, it is such an important topic because we are discussing an entire population of people at the mercy of their parents' decisions. I say "at the mercy of" because it is very disturbing how careless parents are with their children's information on Facebook. Understand, I am not saying parents are bad. I think a lot of parents simply don't realize how easily their children can become victims.

For instance, it is easy to find out names, ages, and birthdays of children. Just check that timeline and the events list.

It is also easy to find out hobbies, afterschool activities, little league, and so on. I can figure out a child's routine, where they will be, and how vulnerable that child will be based on what the parents say.

Do you know from that information I can also determine how crowded the area would be? In fact, I could scope it out to see if there were any unprotected areas like trees and to determine the likelihood of getting a child alone for an extended period of time. Remember, predators don't have to kidnap a child to molest them, and they don't need an hour. And really, let's be honest, those conversation starved moms who take their kids to the park and sit at a table while the Little Folk go closely are they watching? Are they watching closely enough to keep Little Folk away from the cars where someone might be sitting and waiting with a bar of candy or that person sitting quietly on the bench who suddenly needs help finding his lost puppy? And after all, that predator called Little Folk by name because he knows what little folk looks like because Momma or Daddy posts so many pictures of him/her.

Moms, before you think I'm hating on you, I have been one of you. Had entire conversations without ever looking at the women I was talking to because we all had our eyes on the playground. I'm telling you how predators think. They will use ANYTHING they see as weakness and capitalize on it to accomplish their goal.

Unfortunately, the danger doesn't stop when the kids get older. Parents are great at putting their high school and college age kids on parade, and in some cases, give a roadmap to their child's door.

Have you see the pictures of GirlChild's new car? The one with the license plate. Or what about the fact GirlChild is off to college, and they are so excited because she got into (namethat) Dorm, just like she wanted? And, y'all, pray for her. She's coming home this weekend but driving in late.

Let me tell you what the wrong person can do with that information.

License plates are traceable, but even if they weren't, I know where to start watching for GirlChild because I know the dorm she is in. I also know what she'll be driving because parent (usually Mom) just told me, and I know she's driving late at night when not many folks are on the road. She'll be by herself, AND, if I don't want to risk being seen at her school, I can probably figure out the road she'll take home. I just have to find the right place to sit, watch, and be patient.

As for BoyChild who got that nice firearm he went hunting with dad with, good picture of his pickup. I'm guessing he leaves that firearm in the pickup either for self-protection or just to feel big. If I look, I can probably see for sure, and you won't believe how fast I can break a window, open a door, and take off with whatever is in that pickup that I want. And if you think you are going to chase me down, remember, I've got your firearm. Confronting me might not be in your best interest.

It really is that easy, and I'm not just paranoid. People think this way.

I've been asked why anyone would "target me". Simple. You let them.

Criminals are very self-centered, don't have remorse or guilt, and believe anyone stupid enough to be an easy victim deserves it. It is really that simple. So don't be an easy victim, and don't make your kids easy victims either.

Don't use their real names.
People who know you know your children's names. Make up something. One friend of mine uses her kids initial of their first name. Another has DD (dear daughter) and DS (dear son). One friend has S1, S2, D1, and D2. I use totally different names for my kids. And if your kids get on Facebook, consider letting them pick a fake name. They can look up their friends or tell their friends how to find them. Family can find them, but strangers and predators will find it harder. I would love to tell you it's impossible, but it's not. Just make it as hard as you can.

Don't tell birthdays.

Don't show license tags on cars ever, not your kids' not yours.

If you are going to talk about kids' hobbies and activities, make sure your timeline information is locked down to the greatest degree possible.

In photos, control who is able to see them by adjusting the setting by them.

If you are going to tag photos of other people's children, lock the pictures down so only those people can see it and not everyone on their friends list or the people who might see if their friends comment.

If you talk about your child's college, either lock it down so only friends can see or don't be so specific about schedules and dorms.

If your child is on Facebook, check his/her safety settings as well. It can still be a problem if you lock down who can see your timeline but tag the Young'n whose timeline is wide-open for anyone to see.

Here are some really simple guidelines.

If I am a predator I need to know the following:
Where? The place to find your child.
When? When the child will be there.
Who? Your child's name and what he/she looks like.
How? How easy it would be to take him/her or at least get him/her alone long enough to do whatever I want to do.

As parents, our job is to do our best to make sure that information never gets into the hands of someone who would hurt our kids. We can do that.

Blessings of safety to you and yours.


copyright 2014 Jerri Kelley Phillips

No comments:

Post a Comment