How public is too public?

hacker_lgWhen I first created a family website I included a lot of details about our family.  I even had an interactive family tree.  It seemed like a great way to share information about our family.  It was fun to hear from people and connect with other Hoopers around the world.  To me, this was what the internet was about – creating a global village – connecting people of common interests and eliminating physical boundaries.  However, as the internet grew and time went on I became concerened about information security and so I took the family tree offline.  After aanyall, many banks will ask you your mother’s maiden name as a security question, and this would be very easy to learn from the familty tree.  Still, I kept our photo gallery and I posted with our real names.  Now in the past year I’ve had my website hacked 3 times.  It was never a personal attack – I just happened to be using a popular framework that had some well known security holes.  I finally got around to upgrading my system, and this process has got me thinking about privacy again.  The new system allows me to passowrd protect certain images, posts, pages or whatever I want.  The question is, do I really want to do this?  I don’t really get much traffic on my site, but it would make it just a bit harder for family and friends to just casually check in to see new pictures or stories about us.  Believe it or not I’m really not that paranoid, but recently a friend of Cheryl’s who has a very popular blog has been getting all sorts of nasty emails from some crazy person who reads the site.  It really makes you wonder if a little privacy is a good idea.  For now I think I’ll just block some selected pictures and posts, but keep the general website open.   We’ll see how that goes!

A great gift bag idea

Kenton and Maya gather their carrot harvest
Kenton and Maya gather their carrot harvest

A few months ago the kids went to a birthday party.  As usual, they recieved a gift bag when they left.  The fun thing about this party is that the gift bag contained packets of seeds, little peat pots and a baggie of soil.  We enthusiastically planted sunflower, morning glory and carrot seeds.  When they had sprouted and the weather got a little warmer we moved them out to our garden.  It has been great fun for the kids to watch them grow and particupate in the care of their plants.  Recently we harvested and ate a bunch of the carrots they planted. They were delicious!