‘The most photographed child in the world’

That’s the title we gave to our first grandchild…and rightly so. I have never seen so many cameras aimed at a newborn and flashing away, except, perhaps for celebrity babies. Advances in technology have made it easier for people to access cameras so we are always taking photos and videos of our babies. Their first blink, wink, yawn, squirm, cry, and everything in between are documented digitally in our phones and cameras and, of course, we want to share them with our friends.

Unintentional danger

Since we are so proud of our kids and grandkids, it is only natural that we post their photos and videos on social media. While we certainly mean well, we may be inadvertently putting our children in harm’s way. How?

  1. Shaping their digital identity

    You know how employers are now looking at your social media pages in a bid to get to know you better? The tendency is to be careful about what you post on these pages so that they don’t leave a bad or embarrassing impression in the future.

    By posting your kids’ photos, you are making that decision for them. You are creating an online identity for them without their consent. You are also interfering with their anonymity, which is critical when they are young because now any stranger can recognize them.

  2. Misusing their photos

    Imagine seeing your baby’s photo attached to some unsavory website or online story. Worse still, imagine finding your child’s photo on another person’s page, claiming that he/she is your child’s parent. Many parents have found their children’s pictures and videos attached to memes that have gone viral, and all because of being too eager to share these photos and videos.

  3. Stolen identity

    So you have every bit of your child’s information online: their date and location of birth… basically any and all kinds of information about your child. What you have successfully managed to do is give an identity thief an easy time in stealing your child’s identity.

    The scary thing about this is that the identity theft will probably happen when your children are all grown up (remember the digital identity issue) and could have devastating effects on them financially, socially and maybe even get them into trouble with the law. However, you could save your photos from theft by using http://www.phtosafe.com.

  4. Kidnappers and child predators

    We tell our kids not to talk to strangers – whether online or in person. The idea is to keep them away from child predators, right? However, if you are putting up information about where they go to school, where you live and where you like to hang out, aren’t you essentially telling these predators where to find your child? It is a scary idea, but that is exactly what you are doing.

  5. Advertiser targeting

    This may not necessarily be dangerous but it can be pretty annoying. Having your kids’ photos all up in your social media page forms part of your content, which will determine the kind of adverts targeted toward you.