Putting our kids online – the dangers

Putting our kids online – the dangers

This post started as a rant about the copious amount of kid photos on social media

but I quickly thought better of it feeling it wasn’t appropriate or kind, so forgive me.

I’m a mother myself

and I constantly question at what stage  did sharing multiple pictures of our offspring become a natural part of our society?

I guess it’s when we allowed social media into the lonely ‘off peak’ hours of our lives.

Facebook became king and we bowed at the knee of it’s genius ability to share information worldwide at the very click of a button!

Sharing our lives with family and friends afar came straight from our own homes and from our phones using our fore finger and thumb.

I appreciate that I am quite the sharer myself, I even say so here.

My Instagram accounts show insights into my everyday life as a fitness freak and an artist.

But I like to think I have some boundaries…

Naturally, I post an image from time to time of my beautiful handsome devilish little brats on my private accounts.

I fully recognise that we are proud of our babes

and want to share the beauty with the online world that has crossed quite naturally into our private worlds.

Lines are blurred and our guards are down.

Don’t be fooled, I have created my own mess like when my seven year old says “how much love (likes) did you get on your photo Mum?” Ugh..

Have we ever stopped to ask how wee Sally or Sammy feels about her piano recital going onto social media?

I imagine most of us (me included) haven’t.

Just to get real.

I have completed umpteen different child protection, police protection and first aid training courses throughout my working life which has been primarily with small children and young people with learning disabilities.  And I can confirm that it is a frightening society we live in where child pornography and abuse is rife.

No really, it is horrible and present and out there.

We assume it’s safe to share holidays snaps and plead ignorance to the fact that some sick idiot somewhere searches for “child with brown eyes and long blonde hair” can download an image of our child with the mere click of a button, to satisfy their sick twisted desires.

I find that although I have shown images in the past and allowed glimpses into my everyday which inevitably shows my kids,

I have always had my child protection training in the back of my mind.

Enough to know that

once we put that image into the online atmosphere, it can be tracked, hacked and recorded.

Once posted, a digital footprint (path) is created for each individual in the photo. Scary thought.

Even scarier that our wee Jonny might not want to see his bare butt in a digital file under his name in fifteen years time when he does a google search of himself for a School project.

Forgive me for implying that I don’t want to see photos of your children, because I do.

I am simply highlighting that you wouldn’t throw your kids under a speeding bus so let’s try to hold back on the spam and keep our kids safe from the train wreck paedophiles in our society.

A few safety tips when posting images of our kids

  1. Refrain from the bikini, beach shots showing more skin.
  2. Check ALL of the security tabs as much as possible on e mail and social media sites such as Facebook, twitter, instagram. “Private settings” only cover a certain degree but if you have a strong desire to share a photo then know that you have done all you can to protect your kids.
  3. NEVER put your home address in the “check in” tab. This can help paedophiles in their prying or tracking down of a child. You adding the address is like an invite sugar coated and gift wrapped.
  4. Consider using nicknames for your kids as a way of protecting their identity. It may come across extreme but that photo of wee Sheila in her halloween costume can be printed from a Facebook screen and if it has the location you reside plus the name of the child, you are keeping NOTHING secret.
  5. Print more images from digital to a physical format. I am guilty of not printing my photos. But let’s make a point of printing our images so we treasure them in frames or on our walls. When we do this our images take a different role and are altogether more important than the tiny instagram square which got us 100 likes in the online world.

The online world is a FUN place and has made my life as a parent and a business woman a hundred times easier. I mean no harm to the power of the digital age and please know that I am educating myself by posting this blurb as well as others.

Here is another article I liked on this topic.

I genuinely do love to see the photos of your gorgeous children on my feed.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

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