Safe Social Networks

Recently we learned that Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytics to access the personal information of 50 million users to be used for political purposes.

While Facebook is a great platform for news and “public” resources (genealogy network groups, apps, archives and resource pages along with other research pages and groups), it’s not a safe place to share personal information. Even something as innocuous as celebrating a birthday can turn into identity theft. Fortunately there are safer alternatives for sharing news, photos and other information.

A note posted in my MeWe timeline using the iPhone app.

First on the list is the MeWe social network (https://mewe.com). With MeWe you own your content and you control how you interact with other members and what level of privacy you want to maintain.

MeWe supports timelines, private chatting and groups. Safely share photos, videos, documents, voice messages and more. You can access MeWe using your desktop browser, smart phone or tablet (iOS and Android).

With MeWe you can create private groups for family and friends as well as topic groups. When a post is shared to a group only members of that group will see it. This means you can safely post your travel photos to your family and friends while on the road – something you would never do on Facebook.

Want to learn more? Get the details at https://MeWe.com/faq.

Another interesting option is Famicity – a family-based network with a focus on privacy. It has a look and feel that seems more like a scrapbook than a social network. This platform is focused on family – present and past. You can create and share photo albums, stories, videos, news and scanned ephemera. There is a family tree component which shows how you are related to others and serves as an index to view the entries related to that person.

With Famicity you control who can see that content. The social side kicks in when family and friends add their comments, photos and stories.

Famicity is free to use and your content will never be shared with a third party. They are planning to add “premium” features which will cost you to use. Learn more at https://www.famicity.com.

PosthavenMsg101
A sample post in Posthaven

Although it isn’t a social network, the Posthaven blog platform is a great way to share news, photos, birthdays, special events and more. There are a number of features that make Posthaven a great family tool. The primary goal of Posthaven’s developers is to create a service which will be there for the long run. In order to do this, it will cost you to use Posthaven, but the cost is minimal. For $5.00 a month, you can create up to ten blogs. Even if you quit paying, your existing content will remain on your site (unless you decide to remove it). Posthaven supports both public and private blogs.

In the Posthaven world there are three types of users – publishers, subscribers and visitors. Publishers post content on the site. This includes photos and videos. Publishing is as easy as sending an email message. Every Posthaven blog has a unique address. Publishers create an email message and send it to the blog’s address. The subject of the email becomes the title of the post and the message becomes the content. Photos, links and videos can be included in the email to be published with the text content. On public blogs, any visitor will see your content, but on private blogs a password is needed to see the post. Each post has a comment form making it possible to start a conversation online.

Subscribers have posts delivered to them via email. They will receive all the content included in the post. They can even add comments just by replying to the message/post with their notes. This subscriber service is especially useful for family members who have trouble remembering passwords.

To learn more about Posthaven, visit the site at https://posthaven.com/.

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