What I Learned the Hard Way: How to Protect Your Family on Instagram

I have been a little apprehensive about writing on this topic, but I feel its important to share my experiences with the messed-up side of Instagram. I am not writing this to scare anyone. I just wish that I would have been more educated before I had to learn the hard way.

So I'm going to be short, to the point and completely transparent here. I started blogging shortly after Brad and I got married three years ago, and it became such a fun part of my life. I love sharing — sharing happiness and inspiration through my travels, family and life experiences.

As years have gone by, I have posted photos of the exterior of our house to share excitement in the building process and even exposed what city we lived to curious readers. I have posted multiple photos of my little Lucy in her diaper (etc.) because I love sharing little motherhood experiences. We would also post photos while we were on vacation. I completely put myself out there.

As my following grew, I was really naive about the messed up people on the Internet. I assumed all my followers were these cute young girls, aspiring to be videographers or waiting for missionaries. To be honest, I got caught up in the numbers, and I stopped looking at who started following me. This is where the frightening part happened.

One morning, I curiously scrolled through my new followers. It was quite the traumatic experience to see what kind of messed up and really quite evil people were following me. I was exposed to some really icky stuff on these profiles. These people were able to view every post of my home, my life and my baby.

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