Parenting in the digital age can feel like it’s littered with landmines – there’s so much content to monitor, so many recommendations to follow, and so much we’re used to sharing with our friends and family on social media that it only seems natural to use those platforms to share cute or funny moments that involve our kids, too.
But even though the internet is great, there are many reasons to be careful with what we post online, and pictures of our kids are no different. Check out the 5 risky sharing behaviors below to help inform your decisions going forward.
#5. It could put your child’s future financial security at risk.
Your posts may reveal the data points that are typically used to verify a person’s identity as an adult – pet’s name, birthday, mother’s maiden name, sports teams, elementary schools, you name it. The internet is pretty much forever, so help your kid out and keep the answers to their future security questions secret.
#4. You could inadvertently reveal their location.
If someone was looking to kidnap your child, your photograph could contain identifying features even if you purposely don’t name your locale or tag the spot, etc. The backgrounds of photos could contain landmarks, house numbers, cross streets, etc, so make sure you’re checking out a whole photo before you post it, not just the cuteness in the foreground.
#3. If your kids are older, what you post could lead to bullying.
Sure, you think the picture of them in the bathtub is adorable, but thanks to the internet, pictures are forever – will your kid’s fellow middle schoolers find something like that cute, or a reason to dish out endless ridicule? Just something to ask yourself!
#2. The photos could be stolen and used without your permission.
This could be something harmless, something uber creepy like someone passing your kids off as their own, or genuinely dangerous behavior like posting child pornography.
#1. Your kids can’t consent.
The average parent posts 300 pictures of their kids a year, which means that by the time your child enters school, there will be 1500 images of them online – none of which they took, posted, or okayed. And they might not be fine with that in the future.
Take care out there!