Many parents post photos and videos of their cute munchkins on social media because they are proud and excited to share milestones and stay connected with friends and relatives.
Nothing beats seeing your child’s first toothy smile or goofy grin. Hearing the word mama or dada is priceless. It is totally understandable that you would want to capture and share those warm moments with the rest of the world, but how much sharing is too much? Have you thought about the effects of what you post could have on your child?
The following are potential risks your posts can have on your child.
Posting on Social Media Can Invade Your Child’s Privacy
Parents tend to forget that children grow up and will be adults one day. It is therefore important to respect their privacy and post things that will not haunt them in future. What you may think is an innocent little picture may actually end up embarrassing them in their adult years. The internet never forgets.
Your Social Media Posts Might Be Used for Bullying
The internet is full of bullies and trolls just waiting to pounce on any post. Believe it or not there are people who spend hours scouring the internet looking for vulnerable victims to stalk and bully. Such people will always find something wrong in your posts and make a negative comment. You do not need such negative vibes that spoil your day do you?
Sharing Puts Your Child at Risk for Digital Kidnapping
Digital kidnapping is also known as identity theft. This is where someone takes your child’s photos, renames them and claims them as their own. Twisted right? You may wonder what harm that may have on your child, well such people usually have bad intentions with such photos. Ever heard of baby role playing? This is where people who want to appear to be parents, create accounts on social media sites to post stolen photos along with captions that give false details about the child in the photos.
Your Social Media Posts Might Attract Dangerous People
Your sweet posts can somehow find their way to Paedophile photo sharing galleries and pornographic sites and be used by such psychopaths to derive pleasure. Some posts can also give away information such as which school your child attends, where you live and places you frequent. Strangers and kidnappers can use such information to locate your child and other family members.
How to minimize risk associated with photo sharing
Pause before uploading. Before posting anything, ask yourself if you are comfortable with strangers seeing that post. Think about the effect that photo will have on your child in future, will they be happy with it? Are you giving away too much information like birth dates, home address, financial details?
Review your privacy settings. Try and minimise the scope of your audience by adjusting the privacy settings to who can view, tag and share your posts. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have privacy settings that allow you to share posts (and account access) with select people. Use the controls available to boost your family privacy.
Sharing preferences. Do not be afraid to tell your friends to refrain from sharing your posts without your consent. While at it public comments from friends regarding your new house, child’s school, holiday plans, child’s real names all give too much data which can be mined by the wrong people. Let your friends know you are not comfortable with them making such comments on your posts.
Talk to your child. Talk to your child about what to post before sharing it. Make sure they are comfortable with the content so that they feel like they are in control over their lives and body. Also start involving your child in deciding what is appropriate to share with others.
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