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November 1, 2018

13 Comments

Sharing pictures of our kids with friends and family is one of the most popular uses of social media and has become an everyday way to stay in touch. But it’s worth knowing the facts before posting pictures or letting other people post pictures of your kids.

First, posting photos of your kids creates a digital footprint — a kind of electronic paper trail — that forms their identities in a world they haven’t chosen to enter. Someday your preschoolers will grow up, and they might not want documentation of their diaper days hanging out online for their friends to find!

Second, once you post a photo online, you lose control over it. Someone could easily copy the photo, tag it, save it, or otherwise use it — and you might never know.

Finally, everything you post has information that is valuable to advertisers and data collectors; posting a photo of a kid identifies you as someone who might be interested in baby products, for example.

At the very least, you can minimize the consequences with these precautions:

  • Use privacy settings;
  • limit the audience of a post (only to family, for example);
  • turn off your phone’s GPS;
  • consider using a nickname for your kids;
  • think about using photo-sharing sites such as Picasa and Flickr that require users to log in to see pictures (unlike on social media, where all your followers can see them).

This post originally appeared on Common Sense Media.

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Share your comments below

  • Thank you for the tips, you have to be so careful these days.

    Reply

  • Good advice.

    Reply

  • It’s sad that people can use our information for dark reasons though it is the reality of the cyber space and there are many more people who play the dark net game. It’s commonly hard for the average person to maintain cyber awareness.

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  • The digital footprint for my kids worries me. I often post photos where you can’t see our faces or any other identifying information for that very reason!

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  • It is most concerning for everything that teenagers post today. I tell my 17 year old constantly and he just thinks I’m a nagging Mum. I use every moment as a teaching moment, but still… there are so many incidents now from social media that we just can’t keep up.

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  • It’s all common sense really.

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  • I have never posted photos on any part of my computer, not even of myself in a profile.

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  • It all seems common sense to me.

    Reply

  • it is a real concern for the teenagers today who post everything.

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  • I try not to post photos on social media but sometimes I find that others have posted group photos and I understand it would be difficult for that person to get everyone’s permission to post the photo.

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  • Just only post things you’re happy for the entire world to see and then hope they don’t.

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  • This freaks me out quite a bit. I’m a Facebook user and I know you don’t have to be my friend to access my photos and save them for yourself. I have my privacy settings amped up to the max, but if one of my friends shares one of my photos, then all their friends have access to it. It’s imposdible to control who sees what if yours online no matter how secure you try to be

    Reply

  • Thank God Iam not a social media user and never share videos of photos and don’t have to worry about this problem

    Reply

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