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Posting Pictures of your Kids on Social Media: DOs and DON'Ts

According to this article from knowthenet.org, today's children will have an average of 1,000 photos of them posted online by the time they are 5 years old. Further, the study revealed that 17% of parents have never checked their privacy settings on Facebook, with nearly half (46%) only having checked the settings once or twice, despite posting hundreds of pictures of their children to the popular social media site. Unfortunately, without ensuring that your account settings are set to the highest security levels, your photos (ALL of your photos) are available to the public, and may be used in any capacity by a 3rd party, without your permission, and often without you knowing. So what can you do? This Parenting.com article suggests the following best practices for sharing photos of your kids online:
  1. Avoid posting pictures of your child in the bathtub, or otherwise nude. Even if their baby rolls are undoubtedly adorable, you would never want pictures of them to fall into the wrong hands.
  2. Skip the potty pictures - for the same reason stated above. Besides, can you imagine how thrilled your son or daughter will be when the picture resurfaces around his or her 16th birthday? Yikes!
  3. Don't post pictures of your kids when they are injured, still under the effects of anesthesia, or otherwise sick. This follows the old "golden rule" policy - would you want someone posting your picture if you weren't feeling 100% well?
  4. Be careful when posting group photos. Although your kid may have given you the green light to post, his or her friends (and their parents) may not feel comfortable with it, especially depending on the circumstances of the photo.
  5. This one seems like a no-brainer, but don’t ever post private details about your child, or anyone for that matter, on social media. Even seemingly harmless details, like the fact that your daughter is now babysitting at a friend’s house for the first time (alone), or that your son is riding his bike home from XYZ school today like such a big kid, can be harmful if the information falls into the wrong hands.
Generally speaking, using your best judgement is sufficient. But it can never be said that a parent showed TOO much caution when dealing with their child's privacy on the internet. So double check your settings, and those of your kids as well (for those old enough or mature enough to have their own social media account). Safeguarding our kids online is too important to overlook.
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