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How much is too much? How can sharing pictures of your kids can put your family at risk. We all enjoy sharing pictures of our kids online. Especially us “new” moms, I mean come on how can we keep all the cuteness to ourselves. But there are new concerns about the long-term consequences of “sharenting” in terms of cyber security and identity theft.

Oversharing pictures of your life, posting too many pictures of your children online and posting personal information about you and your family online, I’m guilty. This is something that I battle with daily. However, I am being more conscious of what I do post on my personal Facebook page and Instagram page.

I understand that many of us post pictures for family and friends to see that we don’t see as often, I get that. My childhood friends and my side of the family are two hours away and do not see D3 very often, so yes, they do enjoy catching up on our latest adventures online. Once a month I will post a few pictures of our adventures for the month on our personal Facebook page just for this reason.

Another HUGE struggle for me having a family/lifestyle blog is ultimately having to post pictures of our downtown adventures but learning not to overdo it. Will D3 appreciate having his baby photos online with he is 14 years old? This is something his dad and myself never had to worry about. (Thank goodness! My teenage Avril Lavigne self is forever grateful. I’m sure D2 is happy that he doesn’t have his Harry Potter inspired teenage outfits online either!)

Me circa 2007- Why is my hair black? Why do I have so much eyeliner? Why is your room orange? But most importantly check out my mom’s bright yellow crocs… Do I wish this picture wasn’t online? Yes. But it is forever a part of the world wide web.

When it comes to my child’s privacy, I personally will NOT post bathtub pictures, pictures where he has no clothes on or just a diaper. Yes, I send some pictures like that to family so they can see how ridiculously cute he is at times. No, wait all the time. 🙂 I also went to my social media sites and deleted some pictures and post about him. Just out of respect for my son. I don’t know how he will feel about some of the posts when he looks back them in the future, but I want him to be proud of his momma and her work on her blog. It has given us so many wonderful opportunities as a family. I found this interesting study via The Family Online Safety Institute, here is an excerpt.  

A recent report from the UK Children’s Commissioner , “Life in Likes: Children’s Commissioner Report into Social Media Use Among 8-12 year olds”, provides important insight into how young people think and feel about their use of social media including interesting observations about how pre-teens learn from their siblings, gain likes and comments, and curate of online images. An important point in the report is that “Parents may be unaware of how their use of social media affects their child.” When it comes to sharenting, the report indicates that children were “uncomfortable and bothered” when their parents posted some photos. The report says this is because, “They did not want a big group of people to see them, or did not like the way they looked, while others simply did not like being pestered and pressured by parents to share photos when they did not want to.”

The report goes on to explain that some of the children interviewed said their parents would post a bad photo of them eating or in their underwear and they were concerned that people would be laughing at them as a result of their parents sharing the photo. The students in the U.K. also expressed concern that they could not do much to stop their parents from sharing about them and “felt more able to ask their friends to remove bad pictures of themselves than they could to their parents, who they felt they have relatively less influence over.”

It is a CRAZY world we live in these days. In some cases criminals just need mothers madian name and the childs date of birth to set up a credit card account. It’s super easy for criminals to steal your child’s identity. How do you ask?

 

  1. This usually goes unnoticed for 16-17 years.
  2. Criminals can find out mothers maiden name via social media pages
  3. The cute birth announcements made online usually have the hospital listed, which criminals can use to find out the city in which your child was born. 
  4. Birth annoucement= DOB listed for the world to see. 

A few more pointers to keep you and your family safe online.

  1. Never post in real time. Plus who has time to do this anyway? As soon as I take a picture, I’m more than likely chasing D3 around and far too busy to be online at that time. 
  2. Never tag your location in real time. This goes hand and hand with above helpful pointer. I always tag a vague location when I’m home, out and about or just walking downtown. I.e. Downtown Indy or Indianapolis
  3. Never tell anyone your address, neighborhood, name of apartment/condo building
  4. Never mention where your child goes to school, class, etc.
  5. Keep your profiles set to the Private setting. Only accept a friend request and followers you know personally.
  6. Never post about upcoming trips or specific dates you will be gone. Just asking for intruders while you’re gone. 

I hope this helped some of you that were in the same boat as myself with learning how to  be safe online and respectful for your child and his/her future privacy. 

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