Sharenting” – or “oversharenting” – is the practice of sharing our children’s photos and stories through social media networks. In the second part of our series on “Sharenting”, we look at the risks of sharing information online about your children.
Before posting anything related to your child online, stop and consider the impact that you might be having on your child – both now and in the future.
Your Child’s Social Life and Future Employment Prospects.
According to the research, a quarter (25%) of the parents surveyed admitted to publishing photos of other people without first asking for their consent and 53% of parents have uploaded photos of children who are not their own.
But have you considered the embarrassment that funny anecdote of your kid’s bed-wetting incident might cause them amongst their friends later on. Ultimately, this could lead to cyberbullying or confidence issues, as your child struggles to distance themselves from a profile you have created for them – without their permission.
Going forward a few more years, think of the consequences of your well-meaning stories and holiday snaps on their future career, as most University admissions staff and potential employers spend time checking out the online social media accounts of prospective students and employee before accepting or interviewing candidates.
Parents seem to be unaware of the information they are giving away to strangers. The survey findings showed that 17 per cent of parents had never checked their privacy settings on Facebook, while close to half of them had only checked them once or twice.
If you have all your information and photos available on your Facebook and you have your privacy settings set to “Public”, anyone can see them – even those people who do not have a Facebook account.
When you have information available on the Internet, such as your child’s full name, birthday or if you have a photo of your child in their school uniform with the school name displayed and your geographical location tagged, you are opening your child up to identity theft, digital kidnapping (where images of your baby are stolen and use for online role play) or even as a target for predators both online and in the real world.
Sharing Your Location
You may not mean to share your location, however when you take a photo, if you have the location setting switched on, the location data can be stored in the phone. Only 49 per cent of smartphone users in the survey were aware of this. When you share your photos online, it can make it very easy for others to find this information.
Social Media Photo Rights
Parents seem to be unaware that most social media sites have the right in their terms and conditions to use images that are uploaded on their sites for promotional purposes without having to ask for the users consent.
Once a picture is posted, it is difficult to completely remove it from the Internet. Even if you change your privacy settings, it’s already been posted. Other family members may have reposted and the photo can very quickly become public property.
Please feel free to leave a comment on our second post in the Sharenting Series.