When talking about social media, an online safety and privacy 101 lesson is always important, although most people choose to skip it. However, doing so is a foolish act, as you’ll be more vulnerable to attacks. Not being able to comprehend what you’re getting in to is one thing, but you can put others at risk too, even if your intentions were the purest. Such unfortunate event can occur when parents post pictures, cute GIFs or videos of their children on their favorite social networks. Either the best Christmas gift reaction or the cute tree they played in the most tedious school play – whatever parents publish can lead to a whole lot of problems. Remember that when they grow up, they’ll already have seen their life exposed online without consent, giving them a digital identity and background created by someone else.
To Publish or Not to Publish
That’s the question! You don’t need to stop posting your beloved children’s pictures. You can still do it, but ask for their permission first after you’ve made them aware of the various ins and outs of social sharing. In case they’re just too young to know what you’re talking about, consider not doing it in the first place. If you’re a parent, you know how concerned you are when they go online, whatever dangers they can be stepping in, how many hours they spend looking at the screen or what content they access. That’s why you should be concerned about exposing their lives online too, even more when they don’t know about it.
With this in mind, the French government is already applying penalties of up to a year in prison and a fine of more than $45,000 for parents who publish “intimate details of their children without their consent”. This gets even scarier if we consider that, according to Nominet, a child will have around 1,000 online appearances before they turn 5, something as 200 unauthorized pictures per year.
The Sharing Fever
Going overboard when it comes to posting pictures is the main problem here. Oversharing is the core reason why authorities step in. Do you really need to post 200 pictures of your child each year? Not sharing a single picture of your family doesn’t mean you don’t care about them or that you’re a bad parent. In fact, given the circumstances, don’t you think it can even mean the opposite? Furthermore, this way you are much less likely to get your pictures stolen, as according to the same source around 53% of people have already uploaded photos of a kid that wasn’t their own.
Nevertheless, if you simply can’t live without exhibiting your child as the proudest moment of your life, remember to be as discreet and prudent as possible. Reviewing your account’s privacy features, avoiding posting other additional information like the children’s name and asking your child if he/she likes the photos are all great ways to assure a healthier online life. Remember that you don’t need anyone to virtually approve your parenting skills so, most of all, stop oversharing.
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