Social media is a great thing. It allows family members that otherwise may not be a big part of your child’s life ‘watch’ them grow up. Sharing little anecdotes and cute pics is fun and allows you to swap funny stories and advice with fellow moms. The thing is, you may not know the people on your social media accounts quite as well as you think you do. Here are some things to keep in mind before you share:
Location: Be wary about having your GPS location data available as a tie-in to pictures; there’s no need for 345 people to know what park you frequent every Saturday. Additionally, checking in can be really fun, but think who may now know that your child is home with a young babysitter. Keeping locations private is part of keeping our children safe.
Every Parent’s Nightmare: Mind what kind of pictures you share on social media accounts. It’s scary and sad to say it but, pictures of your little one in the bubble bath or running around buck naked is super cute but also can be used in horrific ways without you ever knowing. ALWAYS check your privacy settings on these; or better yet email these to a select few people like grandparents and don’t share them to the masses.
Identity: Your child’s online identity begins as soon as you start posting about them. It doesn’t matter if you delete a post or your profile because the data still exists on servers. This means that companies i.e. Facebook will have consumer and user information on your child often before the age of 10 because they pull your search and internet history for advertising and sales purposes. If you’ve ever seen the last season of Parks & Recreation you can see where we’re headed in the near future.
Privacy: Your child’s right to privacy is important. Your kids have doors on their rooms to allow for them to have some privacy. So why open the door to a bunch of people they don’t know on social media? Can you imagine walking up to 150 people and telling each and every one of them about a potty training incident or an argument with your teen? Probably not.
Media Ownership: Odds are you haven’t read the terms and agreement notices on Facebook and Instagram. Pretty much no one ever does. If you post a picture you may no longer own that picture. You’re giving huge companies the option to use that picture for free with absolutely no consequences.
Social media is fun and a great way to keep in touch and talk to other parents and family members but can also be a kind of scary place. Many government and not-for-profit agencies have released tips and walk throughs to help secure our social media profiles. For more information on social media security visit: https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/protect-your-personal-information/social-networks