Friday, October 31, 2014

Sticking with it...

Hi friends, I'm back! I've thought a lot about it and I really don't want to let go of blogging just because of what happened a couple weeks ago. So, I'm here and I'll be posting a little more depending on how often I get a little time to tap something out and throw a few photos in. Speaking of, due to aforementioned incident I will be ramping up security on my page. Annoyingly it means bigger bolder watermarks on all my photos, but I will still post photos. For now my Instagram will remain private, but feel free to request me. This will help me keep track of who has access to what I post there. I will be posting fewer photos on the Facebook page due to it's public nature, but I will still be sharing there so be sure to "like" it to get updates. 

As you can likely imagine, or possibly relate to, life with 3 kids is very busy! We went through a lot of changes all at once over the last couple months with Malakai starting Kindergarten and then Aurelia joining us just 3 days later. Ben had a week off of work and then I felt sort of thrown in to a new and very busy routine. Getting Kai to school daily proves to be exhausting and Desmond decided to stop napping completely a week later. How fun for everyone! 

{there are THREE watermarks on this photo, some are harder to find than others, just one way I'm increasing security here to protect my family from another incident of stolen identity}

Desmond turned 3 earlier this month, so our kiddos are 5, 3 and 8 weeks old as of today. Time is FLYING by us and I feel like all I can do is keep our heads above water. I know things will calm (somewhat) and even out a bit soon, but we are heading into the holidays so it can't last long!

This year I'm participating in a few Christmas Bazaars to make a little extra money and gauge interest in some of my handmade items. I will not be opening a shop anytime soon but I have done a little branding in case I decide to go that route in the future. For now, it's all informal so that I can be protective of my time. I hope to sell pre made items at the bazaars and possibly drum up some custom orders as well. I'll post dates and locations of the Bazaars that I'll have items at on our Facebook page, so keep an eye out there and then come look for my work under "BnG handmade". 

That's it for now. I will be back to share some updates on what we've been up to as a family and how the kiddos have grown. Keep an eye out for more giveaways coming as well. Thanks for taking time to check in with our little corner of the internet. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

social media hazards

It's been quiet around here, but not only because we have a tiny new human in the house. It's also not because our 3 year old isn't napping and our 5 year old is in his first and very busy year of school. While all of those things are really great reasons to take a blog break, as I've done before, I've been away for reasons out of my control. 

Sadly, I've not been around this space for a while because we recently had an issue of stolen identity. A Twitter user in the UK randomly stole a photo from our About Us section and used it as his own, claiming to be a husband and loving father of 2 (as only the boys were pictured) which means he was posing as Ben. Hiding behind our photo he attacked people verbally and brought attacks on our likenesses. Many people lashed out at him, identifying him through our photo and saying really terrible things about us in response. 

I was first notified of this impersonation through emails. I received 4 emails from different twitter users claiming that my photo had been stolen. They seemed a bit "spammy" in nature, especially because I didn't recognize any of the people contacting me.  Instead of clicking on any links in the emails I googled the username they were claiming had stolen our photo and was shocked at the snippets of tweets I saw from him and the replies of those he angered. Thankfully his account was taken down before I ever knew it existed. I am grateful to those of you who reported this user which I can only assume led to twitter removing him. 

Those who had emailed me had somehow tracked the photo back to my blog and quickly realized that we were not the ones behind the tweets this user was sending out. I was able to send tweets out to several users letting them know that the photo did not belong to this user, but the damage had been done. It just makes me sick that my husband and especially our sons were victims of these angry social media users' rants. We feel rather violated by the whole incident. I don't really want to blog or say much on twitter. I've made my instagram account private so that I have to approve followers from here on out, and I haven't posted anything to my Breaking New Ground Facebook page. I already watermark all my photos, but that didn't stop this person from using one anyhow. 

I'm trying not to let one person "ruin the internet for me" as Ben put it, but it's hard to not want to hunker down and protect my family from having anything like this happen again. I enjoy blogging for the community it has brought me to but it feels lost or broken somehow. So I'm taking some time to think and pray about what to do next. I may take my blog down and use it for my own records, or possibly make it private, open only to approved or invited users. It's also possible that I will keep things the same after some time away. 

I could use some encouragement so feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions on the matter in the comment section here. 

Thanks to those of you who read here and have supported us over the years! 

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