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Posting boys pictures/names on Scoutlander

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Hi all.


We recently put together a pack website for our Cub Scouts over at scoutlander.com and I just had a question.


One of our more senior members said we should not/could not post the boys name next to his picture on the members side of the site.


I can't understand the justification for this since the boys names are being posted behind a password only given out to registered/invited parents of the boys on the site.


Now there's also a public portion of the site and I can totally understand not wanting the boys name on that portion.


There's a neat area of that site on the members side that has a scout directory where you can look up a scout or leader and post a picture of the scout/leader next to his name. I thought this would be helpful for new parents/scouts. But I'm being told that there's some concern over the safety of the scout.


Any thoughts?

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There once was a mandate from National not to put last names online in unit websites. I can't find that anymore.


Certainly it's a good practice not to use last names. Too many child predators are out there. A Pack website, names and contact info for CM and DLs, and a boy's last name? I'll bet a steak dinner at the Golden Ox with you that I can find an address, phone number, and elementary school.


Do you really want to set up that level of risk for your youth?


Here is a guidance page for Councils on information:


Not fully applicable, but of some use.


Here is the guidance page for Unit websites:


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There was never a mandate from national only guidelines.... I only know that because I was a council webmaster for a few years....


I agree with Scoutlander never put anything online regardless if password protected you do not want taken, seen, used in a way you dont want.... even if its password protected that is just like a lock on your car or house it is not that hard to break in. If some one wants to get in to see "scout" out there next target and have some basic hacking skills they can login and get all the information they need to make things easy for them...


Remember digital security is kind of like this .. you put up a no trespassing sign, a beware of dog sign, a fence, a dog patrol, a electric fence, a security patrol... etc ... layers of defense ... so then the bad guy digs in or drops in from the sky - your layers of defense only discourage and make it harder they do not present some one from breaking in.


I do not mean to say don't put pictures up etc... just be careful what data you put with them ....


In a Troop I was in we had a mother who worked for the court system and had a number of death threats, abduction threats against her son etc... yet she did not and would not sacrificing her sons life because of her job. All she asked is we avoided using there full name or pictures in any public form including the newsletter. We of course accommodated her.


I suggest you listen to the Leaders Campfire on getting your unit online... http://www.leaderscampfire.com/archives/69


Hope my wacky 2 cents helps you rather then scaring you away...


Scott Robertson



Helping leaders one resource at a time....

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www.Scouting.Org has some website guidelines for unit websites and for district/council websites. The guidelines vary, according to who "owns" the website.


A unit website is "owned" by the Chartering Organization and the BSA can not officially dicate any "rules," only offer common-sense guidelines.


I would suggest using the COPPA policies that the USA government has set up. Also, good-old common sense goes a long way in developing a unit website.


District and Council websites must meet stricter guidelines (but they are still guidelines).


Check out the guidelines for website development at the National BSA website.


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Not to discount the other advice here, but keeping last names offline isn't a perfect solution, and parents who think it is are sadly misinformed.


As a newspaper reporter, I've tracked down people - teenagers and adults alike - on Facebook, mySpace and blogs even when they just list their first name. Having their hometown goes a long way, though knowing even a bit of information about the person really helps.

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