Social sharing sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. make it very enticing to share pictures of your children for friends, family plus several other thousand people to see. Sure, there are privacy settings but they don’t completely safeguard your pictures.
Once you post your picture, you cannot control everyone who sees it from all those who like, share, retweet, send, save and even print those pictures.
Your innocent picture that was “liked” by 100 people can soon be seen by thousands and thousands of people so you better make sure that if you do post pictures, you’re not posting anything can give away information about the whereabouts of your kids on social media.
The Internet is a vast place for people who you don’t intend to see pictures of your children, to get ahold of them. Predators and other scary individuals can easily obtain pictures of your kids, as well as information that may give away personal information and jeopardize their safety.
It’s our duty to protect our children, and I completely understand and agree that it’s a parent’s choice whether they post pictures of their kids online or not, but know that the privacy settings you choose aren’t a complete safety net to ensuring those pictures don’t make it into the wrong hands or someone with bad intentions can’t pull pertinent information from them.
My husband and I, after many long discussions, have chosen not to post any pictures of our kids on any social media platform. We’ve asked our family members, friends and people who take pictures of our children to respect our decision and not posting pictures of our children on the Internet.
We understand this is a personal decision whether to share or not share and we will respect any other parent’s choice one way or another.
Life as a parent is filled with choices, with decisions about what to do and not to do, what’s best and will help and keep our children safe.
If you do choose to share images of your kids, keep these things in mind and be aware of what is shown in the image and what information can be taken from it. Just take a moment to think before you post pictures and consider these six things.
Never share your children’s full names, birthdates, address, where they go to school and anything you take a picture of that can have their personal information on it such a birth certificate, school report card, x-rays, medical information, insurance, drivers license, passport, social security card, etc.
If you do post something like this, make sure you cover or black out the parts with personal identifying information.
- Clothing or attire (backpacks, etc) with your child’s name on it shouldn’t be worn or shown in pictures online
- When you take a picture in front of your house, make sure you don’t reveal your address.
- If you take a picture with your car, remove your plate number, or stand in front of the plate so it cannot be shown. Your plate number be tied back to your home address… where you and your children live.
Turn off the “add location” or tagging feature on social media so your photos don’t reveal this information to others.
Some details of your life should be kept private.
Details such as your child’s full name, birth date, birth location, addresses, where they go to school are the basics. Have you also considered other details that you post about your life that may leave you vulnerable?
- It’s date night and you just tweeted about it and now your babysitter is watching the kids, ALONE at your house.
- You’re on vacation with the kids and your home is left unoccupied.
- Your husband is on a business trip for one week and you’re home alone with the kids.
Social media encourages us to share and overshare the details of our lives, but some information should not be shared for safety reasons.
The information you put on social media, unfortunately, can be misused for reasons other than what you’ve intended.
This is generally a no-no for parents when posting online and the reasons why should be pretty obvious. Baby bath pictures and naked pictures can be pretty cute, but the truth of the matter is that it’s a very unsafe situation you risk when you post them online.
If that picture gets into the wrong hands such as child pornographers and predators, it can cause possible dangerous circumstances and may be used in unsafe ways.
While social media platforms have nudity restrictions, anything that can be stolen and used for disgusting purposes, hurtful circumstances, can be misconstrued as sexual or explicit, parents please use your better judgment and hold off on posting.
Your child learning to use the potty is a milestone, but not one made for the Internet.
Pictures you post of your children are going to be around forever once they’re on the Internet. Do you really want them to have to relive this moment when they’re in Junior High or High School?
Photos such as this may come back to haunt them and cause them to be made fun of or bullied even.
DON’T REVEAL SCHOOL NAMES & LOCATIONS
School is a safe zone for kids and should remain so, even when pictures are taken.
Be sure not to reveal your child’s school name (especially in those back-to-school photos!), the location of the school, and the school grounds.
School names may be found on back-to-school photos, end-of-year photos, on uniforms, children’s school material, and sports equipment.
OTHER PEOPLE’S KIDS
Everyone is unqiue about their position of posting pictures of their children online.
Before you share pictures of other people’s children, and especially ones that show their faces or in the summer at the pool and in swimsuits, make sure that you ask permission from the parents before you post anything.
It can be tempting if you’re on a school trip, at a birthday party or classroom event, but make sure you respect other people’s positions on sharing their children on the Internet.
Sharing pictures of children online is a parent’s choice to make and not one you can make for other people.
Life as a parent is filled with choices, with decisions about what to do and not to do, what’s best and will help and keep our children safe. This article isn’t meant to scare you about the Internet, they’re just quick reminders about choosing wisely the pictures of your children you do share. Take a moment to think about the pictures you’re uploading before you post then.