Social media allows us to share pictures of special times with our family at the touch of a button, which is a great way to share those memories with friends, but it goes without saying that there are also many dangers of sharing pictures of your children online.
Once you post a picture online, you effectively lose ownership of it, as anyone can copy or save it for their own purposes without your consent.
In addition to this, you have to remember that those images will exist on the web forever once it’s out there, and your little one might not appreciate any embarrassing pictures resurfacing when they’re applying for jobs in years to come!
With that in mind, here are six safety tips to remember when sharing photos of your children online.
Make Use of Privacy Settings
All of the major social media sites allow you to set your own custom privacy settings, so be sure to make yourself familiar with them and ensure that your pictures are only being shared with people that you want them to be.
Remember that it’s not just images that you yourself post. If you or your partner are ‘tagged’ in an image with your child, then that could be showing up on your profile too, but you can also set restrictions on this as well.
Make sure to regularly check your privacy settings and ensure that only people such as your friends and family are allowed to view your photos.
Share Images Privately
You could go one step further and choose to perhaps set up a private group, where any images shared will just stay within that group.
You could either do this on your social media platform of choice or choose to set up a group on a photo-sharing site such as Flickr, which require users to sign in to see your pictures.
Turn Off Location Settings
Your phone’s GPS will often automatically post your location when you upload an image to social media, which is probably something you want to avoid if you’re posting pictures of little ones.
Thankfully, this can easily be turned off, usually within the settings on your mobile device.
Use a Different Name
To avoid identifying your child online, it’s a good idea not to use their full name online, or even better, not to use their real name altogether.
Instead, it’s a good idea to use a nickname or an initial to give them anonymity and prevent anybody from being able to find the images in the future by searching their name online.
Don’t Post Images of Their Friends
While there’s a lot you can do to protect your own child, it’s important to consider the safety of any of their friends that might be in your pictures too and you should never post images of anybody else’s children without their consent.
Similarly, as your children get older, you should probably also be asking them if they’re ok with you posting images of them online too.
Don’t Post Anything Identifiable
It’s also important to make sure that any images that you post online can’t easily identify you or your children.
We’ve already mentioned using a nickname, but also consider whether anyone might be able to work out any other personal information about you, such as your address and phone number.
For example, don’t post anything that would give away your address or what school your child goes to. You’d be surprised how easy it can be for people to put two and two together with limited information online.
As long as you’re careful, social media can be a great way to share snaps of your youngsters, especially with relatives that you don’t get to see that often, but make sure to be careful when doing so and aware of the potential dangers.