It may seem harmless to have a public Instagram, but would you let a stranger take a picture of your kids on the street?

Social media is a place where you can share what’s going on in your life, so posting photos of your family online feels natural for many parents. It’s the quickest way to share cute and funny photos with your friends and family. Which is great, if only your friends and family can see your photos.

When was the last time you checked the privacy settings on your social media accounts?

According to Nominet, 22% of parents with kids 13 years and younger have privacy settings that allow strangers to see their Facebook posts.

It may seem harmless to have a public Instagram, but would you let a stranger take a picture of your kids on the street? Once your photos are online, you don’t know what happens to them, who saves them, and for what purpose.

22% of parents with kids 13 years and younger have privacy settings that allow strangers to see their Facebook posts.

Photo Reuse

Once you post a photo online, you never know what someone else will do with it. Which may not bother you when it comes to yourself or pets, but is a bit more concerning when it comes to your kids.

Your photos can be reposted, used to create fake accounts, and in memes. There are thousands of Instagram accounts that repost photos of babies and kids.

It could take months for parents to notice that their photos are being used without their consent. In the worst case scenario, one mom found pictures of her children from Facebook on over 20 pornography websites.

You may never experience any of these problems, and many parents don’t. But when it comes to your kids and their privacy, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Location Tagging

Most social media platforms allow people to tag their location when they upload photos. It’s always best to keep your location information private, but if you really want to add your location, wait until you’re no longer there to do it.

It’s especially important to set your location to private on Snapchat or Snap Map because of the real time updates and posting.

Strangers shouldn’t to know where you and your family have been or where you like to go. And it’s safest if only close family and friends know that information.

Kids Using Social Media

It’s important for parents to maintain their online privacy, but it’s just as important for kids. If your kid wants to have a social media account, first check that medium’s Terms and Conditions.

Most social media platforms, like Instagram, require users to be 13 or older to create an account. If your kid has a social media account, make sure they set their profile to private and don’t tag their location. 

Adjust your Settings

You don’t need to delete your accounts or stop posting photos altogether to keep your photos safe. If you haven’t already, parents, consider checking all your social media accounts for privacy loopholes. It’s never too late to make your accounts or posts private!

  • Facebook: Make sure only your friends can see your uploaded photos and posts.
  • Instagram: Make your account private, that way you have more control over who gets to see your online photos.
  • Twitter: Consider making your account private, or refrain from posting photos completely since twitter is all about text anyway.
  • Snapchat: Turn your Ghost Mode on, that way no one (or only a few close friends) can see your current location.

Posting photos of your kids online can be dangerous, but it doesn't have to be. With the right precautions and privacy settings, you can share all of your cutest photos with your friends and family.

 

Need more tips to stay safe online? Read 7 Things Teens Need to Know About Social Media & Privacy.


About Kate Carr

Kate Carr is a recent grad from the University of Vermont with a degree in Psychology. She's interested in social marketing and is the Editorial Content Associate for Zift. 

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