The reason why parents post photos of their children on social media is totally understandable: they’re proud of their little ones and want to share their adorable traits, accomplishments, and more with their friends and family. While a lot of people might think that posting photos of their babies and kids is totally harmless, others say that it should be completely avoided. So what should you do?
There are certainly a lot of things to think about before posting photos of your kids online. First and foremost, posting their photos can be an invasion of their privacy, as many parents are posting photos way before their kids even know what the internet is. Most kids are not asked permission before their photos are being shared online, as well as personal information and updates.
These posts can also be used for bullying, as older posts that might have seemed cute and silly to you can be misconstrued and used against the child, especially if they do not want the post up at all.
The scariest thing is that once something is posted online, it’s very difficult to control it. Even if a post is deleted, someone could have already taken a screen shot, and then it’s virtually impossible to keep under your own control. Deleted posts also still exist in Internet archives, so just remember that everything you post is pretty permanent.
While these cases are more extreme examples, but sharing too much information about your child online could make scary situations like digital kidnapping a higher risk. There have been cases of identity theft where perpetrators took photos, names, and information of a child and claimed them as their own child, or even worse, impersonating the child themselves. That’s not to mention that many children’s photos are also stolen for inappropriate websites.
Additionally, photos can subtly identify details like where a child goes to school, spends time after school, and even lives. This kind of information should really not be public, and location tags should definitely be avoided when it comes to posts with kids.
There are safer ways to share about your child online if you really still want to. First of all, make sure you are familiar with your privacy settings, ensuring that you are up to date with keeping your information as safe as possible. You can watermark photos that you publicly share.
Ask your family and friends not to post photos of your child. Most importantly, once your child is old enough, include them in the decision making, and ask their permission. It’s probably best to avoid posting until a child can make these decisions.