As parents, we do our best to shield our babies from the horrors of this world. Stranger danger, bullying, and basic, class-A cruelty are real and extend into adulthood. But have you ever considered your own actions could be exposing your child to these things?
Sharing videos and pictures online is as easy as two clicks, but posting pics of children isn’t always so safe – or private. Just like in the non-digital world, kids face dangers like cyberbullying, predators, identity theft, and what’s called digital kidnapping. Your child could end up a meme or advertisement.
Would you like your child’s image to be plastered on dubious websites all over the world? It could happen. Further, what you share from birth will continue to follow them as they go through adolescence and adulthood. Remember: what you post online, stays online.
Here are some examples of pictures you might want to think twice about posting:
1- Pics of Other People’s Kids
Ever hear of consent? Little Josie’s mom may not want the group photo you took at the slumber party all over Instagram or Facebook. Before taking a picture you want to post online, ask permission. Even elementary schools have consent forms these days regarding publication of photos to social media.
2- Bathroom Photos
These include tub time, semi-nude/nudes, and anything involving bodily functions. Creeps of all types lurk on the digital playground. Think of how intrusive it is for a complete stranger to see your toddler in the buff, whether she’s covered in suds or not. Think of how she might not want her classmates seeing some of these images by the time she’s in 8th grade. Consider how long and how many these images may reach.
3- Photos with Geotags
Did you know that pictures and videos can contain location information in them? If you’re using a smartphone, things like where, when, and exact GPS coordinates could be automatically tagged within those images. Turn it off in the phone’s settings. Also be aware that certain social media apps have location features that show where you are.
That first day of school or playdate pic you posted probably has an exact address digitally attached to it, along with names. Teenagers posing with new cars in front of their houses are extending a virtual invitation to tech-savvy burglars. You never know what types of criminals are watching.
4- Pics of Questionable Activities
Photos of children being dangled over a zoo exhibit or a 2-year-old clinking a celebration beer with Pop-Pop. . .Do we need to elaborate?
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