The Jakarta Post
Parents must consider the danger of sharing photos of their children and the children’s consent to their image being posted online. (Shutterstock/kibler)
Many parents like social media platforms because they can keep track of their children’s growth in photos. There may also be some sentimental reasons, for instance when older photos pop up thanks to the "memories" feature. And while some parents may wish to show off their cute, good-looking offspring, others just post for the sake of their own pleasure.
Whatever the reason, parents must consider the dangers of sharing photos of their children.
Device-to-cloud cybersecurity company McAfee addresses the matter, in line with back-to-school season being in full swing in the United States and other parts of the world.
McAfee recently announced the results of its latest survey, 'The Age of Consent', involving 1000 parents of children aged one month to 16 years in the US. It found that 30 percent of parents posted photos or videos of their child at least once a day on their social media accounts, with 12 percent posting four or more times per day.
Most parents understand the risks associated with sharing photos of their children online, but somehow the understanding does not translate into action. Many of them even include their children’s personal information and private details in online images, according to a press release from McAfee.
A photo of a child wearing school uniform, shared online, holds the risk of personal information exposure. Meanwhile, information such as birth date, home address, school or even a child’s full name could lead to cyberbullying or identity theft if it gets into the wrong hands.
To make sure children’s photos are shared in the safest way possible, below are a few tips:
Ensure that the geotagging feature is turned off when uploading a photo. Many social networks tag a user’s location when a photo is uploaded.
Only share photos and other social media posts with their intended audience. Privacy settings could also be locked down, and services like Facebook and Instagram have features that restrict posts to confirmed connections only. However, reminds McAfee, everything posted on a social network should be treated as if it is public.
Set ground rules that friends, family and children themselves can only share photos with explicit permission. Only images that do not lead to embarrassment, anxiety or cyberbullying can be posted.
Protect identity and keep personal information secured from misuse. Parents can use an identity theft protection service, which McAfee also offers.
Read also: Seven parenting tips in the digital era
Above all, parents must also consider whether their child consents to their image being posted online. Parents may think that the children are too young to decide, but it is best to ask first whether or not they mind if their photos are posted. (mut)