We are all guilty of oversharing sweet snaps of our kids running around at the beach, blowing out their birthday candles and posing for their first day of school. But experts warn that sharing these seemingly innocent moments on social media can have devastating, dangerous and legal consequences.
Think Before You Post Photos of Your Kids
Sharing photos on social media is pretty much the norm these days. But in France, the act of sharing pictures of your kids is actually illegal. Under France’s privacy laws, parents who post photos of their children (or other kids) could face up to a year in prison and a hefty fine of up to $65,000.
While Australia has not adopted such stringent regulations regarding photo sharing, it is worth taking on board, especially when considering the dangers and damages that photo sharing can pose, especially for our children.
A recent study by Nominet discovered that, on average, parents post nearly 200 photos of their children every year for the first five years of their lives. By this calculation, by the age of five, there are 1,000 photos of each child floating around the internet.
So, What’s The Problem?
Identity shaping through social media
For many experts, the issue comes from lack of permission. Parents are posting photos of their kids in nappies now but how will this impact them in the future? Are we shaping their identities by sharing these private moments?
Once a photo or video is online, it is free game. And we’ve all seen those seemingly innocent photos of unhappy young children and overweight infants being transformed into horrible memes. These are real children in these memes and ones that probably had no idea their photos were even posted online.
Innocent photos are exactly what sexual predators want
Cyber-safety expert Susan McLean said parents are often less educated about online safety than their children.
“When you post anything online, it does not matter where it is, you have lost control of it,” cybersafety expert Susan McLean explains.”It does not matter how innocent the photo is, if your child has got what a predator is looking for, they will take that photo.”
While no parent ever posts a cute video of their child complaining about his dinner with malicious intent, it can end up that way in the wrong hands. And, these days, you really never know what kind of reaction a seemingly innocent story, picture or video will have when shared on social media.
So what’s the solution?
Check your privacy settings on your social media accounts before posting photos. Use iCloud or DropBox to save these precious moments or rewind the clock and return to the good ol’ fashion days when we kept the precious memories of our kids alive through framed photography that could only be seen from the comfort of our homes.
Also, we recommend checking out this helpful blog ‘Is My Child Ready To Use Social Media?’