As I said before, make adjustments to who is able to see your posts and who isn’t. People who don’t know you or your children have no reason to know what they look like.
It also helps to be mindful. Our children are adorable, especially when they’re only in a diaper and somehow covered in spaghetti sauce. But, you would never post a photo of yourself wearing nothing but a diaper. It seems so innocent, but the consequences of what we think is cute can turn creepy REAL fast.
Erin offers these key bullet points to consider before posting pictures of your kids:
Things to consider when posting photos of your children:
- Is there enough room to ‘superimpose’ another figure into the image?*
- Are they in a state of undress (even with emoticons placed modestly—these can be removed and body parts can be photo shopped in).
- Do you have a public social media page? Pedophiles can develop ‘child crushes’ and the child does not have to be posed or in a state of undress for the photo to become a commodity.
Before sharing any photos of your kids, it’s important to look and determine if there is enough room to add figures or objects into the photo. I know this sounds crazy, because if you’re at Disneyland, the picture of your child is most likely going to be this tiny little human with a massive castle behind them. But for the sake of safety, it’s important to at least consider before posting.
It’s no secret that teenagers are a hot commodity among online predators and pedophile rings. Being mindful of what and how you post on social media is important at any age. According to Erin, there are also a few key things to look out for in your teens’ social media pics:
Things to be considered with your teens social media images:
- Duck faces and posed photos are used as baseline trading images on predator sites.
- Swimwear and underwear shots become more valuable.
- If their account is public then the predator ‘ring’ can approach friends (or enemies) of the teen and pay money for more explicit photos.
We live in an age where the world is completely connected. There are more people on Facebook today than there were on the entire earth 200 years ago. It’s a privilege to be able to stay close with people—friends and family who aren’t geologically close to us. But knowing the associated risks of using social media to broadcast our lives means that we are aware of the dirty stuff that we try not to think about when showcasing the memories that we have the ability to capture.
Protect yourself, protect your kids, SHARE this valuable information with fellow parents, and know what it truly means to use social media wisely.