Many parents post stories, pictures, and videos of their kids on their social media – outfit of the day, first day of school, birthdays, the park, etc. Parenting can be hard, and these platforms have many benefits for busy moms and dads who are looking to get advice from others, being able to share memories with friends and family, and to overall stay connected to the outside world.
It’s common for people to share photos of their children on a daily basis. But how much sharing is too much sharing, and can this exposure put your child in harm’s way? We are living in a digital world where perfect strangers have the ability to view private information about our lives, and unfortunately not everyone’s intentions are always good. With 350 million photos posted on Facebook daily and 995 photos uploaded on Instagram every second, it’s no wonder that pedophilia is on the rise and perpetrators have easier access in obtaining photos from the dark web.
We are all well aware that the internet isn’t always the safest place for adults, let alone children. Here are a few dangers that are associated with posting your children’s pictures online:
- Ending up on pornography sites: The flood of photos and videos hitting the internet is overwhelming. In the first three-quarters of 2021, Facebook flagged 55.6 million pieces of content under “child nudity and sexual exploitation” and Instagram saw close to 5 million removals for the same thing. Social media makes it easy for predators to steal images of children and upload them to pedophile photo sharing galleries, putting children at high risk every day.
- At risk for digital kidnapping: With 58.4% of the global population active on social media and growing, so are the number of photos being passed around. Cybercriminals steal children’s photos off the internet and leverage them in order to use them as their own and give the child victim a new identity.
- Bullying: People on the internet can be cruel. Posting pictures on social media platforms can give others information to make fun of and bully a child when they are older. Not to mention, it can greatly impact your child’s future. Bullying doesn’t only happen with people you know, there are many anonymous people out there who don’t react well to updates. This, more often than not, will result in mental health issues later down the line.
- We are all responsible for protecting defenseless children. When sharing photos on the internet, set strict privacy settings on your social media accounts to limit who is able to view your child’s photo. Be selective and cautious when posting photos. Remember nothing gets deleted from the web, so if there is any doubt in your mind at all, be safe and don’t post.