Dropbox Safety Tip – The Wired Homeschool


In a previous episode of the podcast I mentioned using the cloud storage service Dropbox to allow you to share files between computers and family members.

If you’ve taken advantage of this great FREE service to share files then good on you! While I have your attention, I want to share with you some additional information that you may not realize.

I came across this article that mentions you can search Google for the contents of other user’s Public and Photo folders in Dropbox.

If you use the Dropbox photo folder for your pictures, you make them accessible for anyone, which includes search engine bots. The only option for you is to store the photos in a different folder to block this from happening. For that, you need to create a new photo folder in your Dropbox structure and use that folder from then on to store your images. The gallery feature however is not available in that new folder which means that other Dropbox users that you share the url with will not be able to see the photos in a gallery in their web browser.

This was something I failed to realize. In fact, I had one photo in there that was being shared with the world! Read the article for more details about how to find out what you’re unknowingly sharing with everyone on the Internet.

What it amounts to is that some of your content is searchable on Google. If you don’t want Google to be able to see your photos or files in the public folder you should create a new folder and move those files to the new location. It’s very simple to do.

While you’re at it, you might want to confirm the security settings on all of your Dropbox folders.

BTW, if you aren’t using Dropbox yet, clicking on this referral link or the one above you will get an additional 250MB of storage space when you register.


Heavy Internet Usage May Lead to Depression – The Wired Homeschool

Hat tip to Luke Gilkerson over at the Breaking Free Blog for making note of this.

A study titled A U-Shaped Association Between Intensity of Internet Use and Adolescent Health from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that a change in Internet usage could be a sign of depression in teens.

The data came from a survey of more than 7,200 adolescents, ages 16 to 20.

  • Adolescents who used the Internet more than 2 hours a day were considered “heavy Internet users.”
  • Males who are heavy or non-Internet users are both 30% more likely to show signs of depression.
  • Females who are heavy Internet users are 86% more likely to show signs of depression.
  • Females who are non-Internet users are 46% more likely to show signs of depression.

This underscores the need for parents to monitor Internet activity of their children, not just for content but for the amount of time being spent in front of the screen. As parents we need to make sure we are carefully observing our children and if we notice any change we should step in and ask, “What’s up?” This is especially true is Internet usage increases.

For more insight about this, listen to part 1 of Luke’s interview with Albert Mohler about the dangers of being too connected.