Research has shown that an average mom or dad posts nearly 300 pictures of their child every year. The number of kids’ photos shared increases every year, and it’s quite possible that by the time today’s infants start school, they’ll have somewhere around 1500 pictures of them on the net. Documenting and posting every precious moment of our children’s lives is a trend followed by thousands of parents, but it’s not as harmless as it may seem.
Here at 5 Fun Facts we’ve found out why sharing your kids’ pictures on social media can be dangerous, and here’s what you need to know.
1. You reveal your child’s location, and this information can be used by criminals.
Even if you don’t name the location where the pic was taken on purpose, there are a number of identifying features that could appear on photos of your child. These features include names and numbers on houses or names of shops in the background, soft toys your child is holding, names and appearance of pets and many other things. So, by simply looking at your child’s photos, criminals can identify the locations your kid visits most often, and even recognize the kid in a school yard as yours by the items he or she is carrying.
2. Sharing personal data increases the risk of online fraud.
Bank specialists are sure that sharing kids’ pictures containing personal data can put their future financial security at risk. While posting dozens of childhood pictures, parents may unintentionally reveal the names and dates of birth of their children, home addresses, places of birth, names of pets, sports teams their children support, and so on.
All this data may later on be used by criminals for fraudulent loans, credit card transactions, or online shopping scams. Security specialists urge parents to check their online privacy settings and make sure they know what information is displayed in this public space.
3. Social media posts about your kids can attract dangerous people.
One of the worst things about the pictures you share on social media is that they can easily be stolen. There’s a whole lot of websites with disturbing content that illegally use children’s pictures that were once posted on their parents’ accounts. Additionally, there are dishonest social media users that steal children photos and post them as the pictures of their own kids.
4. The information your share can impact your children’s adult lives.
Some parents never think about it, but the pictures and messages they post today may compromise their children in the future. Once grown up, your kid may want to work for a big international company, run for a public office, or take up another public activity, and he or she would never want their careers be put at risk by controversial childhood photos. Remember that even deleted pictures can be revealed with the help of certain algorithms. With that in mind, be particular about what info you post regarding your kids.
5. Social media posts featuring your child can become a reason for bullying.
Once you share a piece of your life on social media, you are no longer in control of it. What you cannot control as well is the way other people react to posts about your kids. In the blink of an eye, a harmless family joke may turn into a flood of insulting commentary that could easily go from the internet to real life.
6. There’s a good chance your kids will not be happy about their lives having been put on display.
And last, but not least are ethical issues. Just ask yourself how you would feel if your mom or dad would show the album with your childhood photos to strangers on the street? There is a legal case in Austria involving a young woman suing her parents to force them to remove her childhood pics they’ve uploaded on Facebook.
The woman has repeatedly asked her parents to remove her pictures from the net, but they would refuse to do so. “They knew no shame and no limits,” said the lady. “They didn’t care if I was sitting on the toilet or lying naked on a cot, every moment was photographed and made public.” Make sure you don’t violate your kids’ privacy when sharing the magical moments of parenting with the world.
What do you think of sharing your kids’ pictures on social media? Did you know that it can be risky? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments!