Some call it an addiction, some use it in order to connect with family and friends, but most of us call it our life. The good ole Facebook doesn't seem like a recent addition to our lifestyle anymore. From posting pictures to stalking our ex, everything seems like such an easy task on Facebook. However, like every good thing, Facebook too comes with its set of hazards.
We, mindlessly post pictures of ourselves and/with our family and friends to draw attention and gather fame or simply to share our happiness and mundane acts with distant family, friends or relatives. But did you know you are putting yourself, especially your kids at risk, with all this mindless posting of pictures? Read along to understand why you should never post pictures of your kid/s on Facebook.
(Images used in the article are for illustration purpose only)
On an average, parents post around 200 photographs online (annually) of their children under five. It means your kid will feature in about 1,000 pictures online by the time they turn five! With so many pictures of them available online easily, it is a no-brainer to foresee the kind of problems that may take over them in present or future.
Digital kidnapping is the latest kind of identity theft where people steal your kid's pictures from the social media repository and claim to be their parents or relatives. They give them fictitious names and post pictures of them adding how the kid is starting teething and how beautiful parenting is. In short, a powerful digital identity of your kids is being created by someone else without your knowledge. This is not something that can be overlooked!
Amy Webb, a futurist and CEO of the digital strategy firm Webbmedia Group says, "Passwords and photos are easily hacked, and the more information that's available, the easier it is to trace digital breadcrumbs back to one person."
Let's not shy away from the fact that sharing pictures of our kids while doing something interesting or funny makes us swell with pride and draws a lot of likes/comments on our Facebook. We are doing nothing but flaunting them and encouraging unhealthy competition indirectly. Fame isn't and shouldn't be the deciding factor in someone's success.
Some parents may feel that their kid isn't as smart as that of their friend's and it may force them into pushing their child to achieve things that may not be their forte or sound uninteresting to them.
Same goes for kids who are young and see their classmates' parents posting about them on Facebook with pride. They may feel low or jealous and I'm sure this isn't the feeling parents would like their kids to be drawn to.
Most of the people are not even aware that pictures may reveal the exact location where they are taken. Some parents are in the habit of posting too much information about their kid like the school name and hobby classes they are enrolled in. They do it mindlessly or just to flaunt how well their child is doing, but in the process, they forget that all this data is getting captured online and giving out all your personal information to the world.
You already know what all problems you can get into by revealing too much information about yourself and your kids.
We all are aware that the data entered in the World Wide Web stays there forever. By posting your kid's pictures on the internet, you are overlooking the fact that when they grow up and find their embarrassing pictures or videos online, they are not going to appreciate it. No matter what they do, they will be mocked and laughed at by many later.
The potential reach and longevity of the digital information is a cause for concern and should deter you from posting anything that you feel may embarrass your kid in future.
As a smart parent, you may argue that you have set your privacy settings and nobody except your friends can view the data you post on your wall. But what you forget is that your friends might share it further without any wrong intentions and before you know, your post or picture that was intended only for your friends has reached a vast number of viewers who are strangers to you.
You cannot allow or risk your personal information and pictures to be falling into the hands of strangers.
Before you rubbish all the above reasons and set out to post another of your kid's picture on Facebook, let me remind you that not everybody out there is your well-wisher. There are some malicious characters that may be stalking all your activities and places you and your kid visit. They may even be aware of the places where you leave your kid like their school and swimming or karate classes. It will be an effortless task for them to simply cause harm or pick your kids up from such places and use them as bait.
An angry co-worker, an agitated ex who poses to be your friend, a friend you fought with for a petty matter last week, are all potential threats you need to be careful of.
It is a good idea to take consent of your kids or your friends when posting their pictures or tagging them online. This way, you are not only building trust with them but also teaching them digital etiquette of not tagging anyone or posting about anyone without seeking their permission. This will also save them from the embarrassment of their baby acts, which may have made way online had you not given it a second thought and taken their consent.
Even if you are tempted to share your kid's pictures online, ensure you are not posting their nude pictures of bathing or swimming, not mentioning their formal name, not tagging others and not mentioning the location. If you wish to share your kid's video or pictures with your family, friends or relatives, you may send them through email. Review your friend list and privacy settings from time to time and do not allow anything that may affect your kid's identity or safety.
I am sure many of you will argue that you have been posting pictures of your kids since a decade without any issues and may rubbish everything shared herein, but it is our responsibility to caution you on what dangers you may be putting yourself or your kid in. All it takes is one moment and one incident to turn your life into hell. Be safe than sorry!