In the age of social networks, many people experience the irresistible desire to post photographs of their children online, to show how cute and clever they are and how proud they feel to be parents. But too few think about how this seemingly harmless activity might actually be dangerous for their family.
For this reason, we at Bright Side would like to share the following list of measures which, although they might seem excessive, could nevertheless help you avoid taking unnecessary risks with your children.
We would like to point out that our goal is not to feed your paranoia or suggest you should never show your children to the outside world. We are simply suggesting that you try to stay within sensible limits of online behavior.
Don’t indicate your location when posting photographs
Whether it’s their school, the gym, or a social club they attend, it’s not a good idea to publish information about where your child is and what they’re doing there. Someone could use that info for their own purposes and even come to understand where your child can regularly be found.
Don’t upload photos revealing your kid’s hobbies or interests
If someone learns of what your kid loves doing, then it becomes easier to trick them and entice them into a dangerous situation, wherever they go.
Delete any images that might reveal your child’s official information
It might seem that this one goes without saying, but we’ve all seen when people boast online about the new visa, passport, or other important documents they’ve received, often accompanied by a photograph. In the case of a child, their official name or identification number can easily be used to reveal where they live or study.
Don’t upload photographs of your children next to a car
This one is more about the parents’ safety than that of the kids. Apart from offering potential criminals information about a valuable possession, you might end up finding yourself in trouble. For example, the parents in the image above eventually found themselves behind bars after posting this image online.
Never post images where your children are only half-dressed, however cute or innocent it may be
Maybe for you and your family photos like this seem to be only funny and cute, but it’s not hard to imagine how others with certain mental illnesses might see them in a completely different way.
Don’t share photographs that could one day make your kids blush in embarrassment
In many family photo albums there are shots which may one day make the kids feel thoroughly indignant that their parents could ever have dreamed of taking them. For many of us, there was never any opportunity to display our baby photos online. So we should take a great amount of care in this case. We need to try harder to appreciate that, for our kids, such photographs might become the ideal form of compromising material for many years to come.
Avoid publishing photographs of your child alongside other kids
Before publishing a school photo of your child alongside their classmates, it’s worth thinking about whether the parents of the other children would mind you posting the image or not. After all, they’re not your kids that you have to worry about, and it won’t be you who has to deal with any negative consequences of their identity being revealed online.
Always remember that when you post images of your child on social networks — even if it’s shared only between you and your friends — you need to understand that it no longer belongs just to you, and could be used by anyone who can see it for their own purposes. Be careful, and always think about the safety of your children.