Very recently we posted an article about how important JourneyTree believes data protection and security is when it comes to keeping kids safe. Protecting your child’s images and information online can be overwhelming, especially if you are not fully aware of the risks. The range of preventative measures you can take to minimise any security breach can also be confusing.
Cyber safety expert Susan McLean says the “only real way to protect images of our children is not to post them online”. But is this black and white solution even feasible given the online culture of most families?
Why we’re putting our children’s lives online
The early days of your child’s life create memories you want to hold onto forever. Luckily with smart phones and their high quality cameras, it’s almost too easy to grab photographic evidence of all that cuteness.
These days, too, our circle of family and friends is spread far and wide across the globe. They can now share in the joy of your child thanks to the convenience of social media platforms and email.
But once a pic of your child has been shared digitally, all control of it has gone. According to the Children’s eSafety Commissioner, and published recently by the Sunday Morning Herald, innocent photos taken from family social media profiles account for up to 50% of images found on some child exploitation sharing sites.
It’s a terrifying statistic, but thankfully there are steps you can take to protect your child’s images online.
The questions to ask yourself before you hit ‘share’
- When your child is older, is this an image they’d be pleased to know was shared?
- Is there any nudity? Don’t share photos of your children in the bath or getting dressed, no matter how innocent your intentions.
- Have you checked the security and privacy settings of your social media accounts?
- Have you ensured in your post settings that ‘friends’ and not ‘friends of friends’ can see your images?
- Have you asked your friends to respect the privacy of your family?
- Have you ensured there are no identifying factors in the photo, such as school uniforms or street names?
- If your child is a little older, have you discussed with them that you are sharing their images online?
- Have you done any Google image searches (or reverse image searches) to ensure images of your child are not being used in any untoward ways?
- Have you avoided using hashtags or other grouping features?
- Is your child’s school posting images of your child on their social media sites, and is this a closed group? Are they sharing images of your child on a website?