Five horrifying ways child photos may be used online

PHOTO: Corbis images

Many parents love to share pictures of their little one’s on social media, while others create a full profile for their infants to share adorable moments of their child’s growth.

As social media are open to anyone worldwide, one should take precautionary measures when uploading pictures of family and children as your child could be exposed to people you have never met.

A Moreleta Park mother was shocked to find someone else had used her children’s pictures on their Facebook page.

“I came across a woman’s profile and realised her profile had pictures of my two-month-old daughter. I reported it to Facebook and they didn’t even take down that profile. From then on, I deactivated my Facebook account and even told all my family members not to post pictures of my children without my consent,” said Rene Engela.

Website Family Share shared five horrifying ways that your children’s pictures might be used on the internet.

Infographic:  Danielle Stroh

Infographic: Danielle Stroh

Online site Irish Examiner released tips for parents to consider before posting images of their children on social media.

1. The ‘Save As’ and screenshot options on every computer are very dangerous tools

The ability to save and screenshot pictures is a simple tool available to anyone with a computer or a smart phone. This means anyone can copy and store your family photographs if they wish.

2. You can unwittingly identify your children

Images of your children can be exposed to people you don’t want to associate with such as estranged family members or dangerous individuals.

Before posting images, think carefully of who will be seeing the post before sharing details of your children’s whereabouts, movements or identifying features.

3.Young children cannot decide for themselves

Even though some decisions have to be made for your children, their privacy is something you should take seriously. You must consider that your child may want to start off their own social media journey when they are older and the trail of information you have left behind may not be appreciated by them.

4. Social media sites can be hacked

You should regularly check who had accessed your account by checking your privacy settings and log-in details. Most websites will tell you when and where your account had been accessed from. Make sure you use a secure hack-safe password as sites like Facebook and Twitter are as vulnerable to hacking as any other websites.

5. You may expose your children to cyber bullying

Posting images of what you might think is cute or funny might leave your children exposed to cyber bullying by their peers or even people whom they have never met.

Parents should keep in mind that the internet is filled with predators with sinister intentions.

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Rorisang Kgosana
online journalist

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