It is known as Sharenting” – or “oversharenting” – and it refers to parents who share posts and pictures online of their children – in many cases without understanding the consequences of doing so.
In our first post in the series, we looked at what “sharenting” is and the reasons why parents share this information. In the second part, we went over some of the dangers of sharing information about your children online. Today, in our final post on “Sharenting”, we discuss some recommendations for the future.
Below are some ways that you can safely share, while ensuring that you keep you and your family safe online:
- Think carefully before you post online – and make sure it’s appropriate. That nude shot of your baby might seem really cute, but would your son want a potential future employer to find it. You can go back and change your settings on your posts, however, it is always best to get it right first time.
- Update your privacy settings on your social media sites regularly – make sure only those you wish to share with can see your posts and photos. Check back regularly to make sure there haven’t been any changes.
- Set things up so that you have to review any new friends /followers, posts, comments and tags before others can see them on your page. That way, you are aware of what others are posting about you and can accept or not, as appropriate
- Ask for permission to post or tag photos of others, especially when it’s their children. This common courtesy should extend to you own children, once they are old enough to understand. Find out what is acceptable before posting.
- Reconsider the contacts in your social networking groups. Delete those who you don’t wish to share information with, or at the very least, change what they have access to on your profile.
- Social Media is not the place for you to store ALL of your photo albums. Keep the number of photos on your Instagram account to a minimum. If you wish to share photos with friends and family, there are a number of different forums and apps where you can privately share photos with those you trust. There are also backup solutions which are safer places to store you photos than your social media accounts.
- Be careful what details you reveal online. Never reveal full names of your child, birth dates, school details, telephone numbers and emails. This makes the chances of being able to find your child in an online search much more difficult.
- Turn off the location service setting when taking pictures on your smartphone. That way, you will never accidentally reveal your location to someone.
Remember, once it’s posted, it’s never as easy to go back and remove all traces, However, if you feel, after reading this that you have previously made some inappropriate comments or photos on your social media sites, it may not be too late – go back through you sites and delete, edit and change your settings on old posts and photos.
The Internet is a great place to share – just be sure you are sharing with the right people and in the right way! And don’t over-share!
I would love to hear your comments below!