Now think about how many photos you have of your child. With digital photography it probably numbers in the thousands. How many of those photos have you shared online?
The Parent Zone polled 2,000 parents and found that by the age of 5, parents posted around 200 photos of their children each year onto social media sites - that's 1,000 photos in 1,825 days. That's a lot of moments broadcasted to a wide audience. And that is a lot of unhappy children, since nearly a third of parents admitted that their child asked them not to post a photo online.
Further questioning in the study found that a significant number of parents have either never checked their privacy settings on social media sites or only checked it once and haven't kept up with the changes over the years.
So, do parents need to stop sharing pictures of their child's first day of school or that cute Halloween costume? No, but they do need to follow some basics tips for online safety:
- Know the site you are sharing on. Do you retain exclusive rights to those photos? Do you have the right privacy settings in place?
- Think before you share. Would you want your child's future employer seeing that photo?
- Ask permission. Are there other children in the photo? Would their parents mind you posting that picture online?
- Share smartly. Has the GPS data been included in your photo or did you wipe that information from the file? Do you have a backup image at home in case the site ever gets wiped out?