Do I share too much of my child's life online?

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1. A lifetime online

The first “social media babies” are turning 13! Their childhoods have been shared online by their families- and they’re not always happy about it. As the babies born since the advent of Facebook become old enough to have their own accounts, should we rethink how much we share about our children?

2. Tiny person, big footprint

Posting things like pregnancy scans means that parents-to-be have often created a digital footprint for their children before they’re even born. Research from Parent Zone, a digital safety resource for parents, suggests the average parent shares up to 1,500 images of their child online by the time they’re 5. But is it advisable for a parent to share photos or anecdotes about children who are too young to have a say in how they’re represented online?

3. Identifiable images

For example, posting images of your child in school uniform, using their full name or showing them in recognisable places in your hometown can make it easy to locate your child. Linking your photos with your profile, information from updates you post, or your ‘check-ins’ can reveal a lot about your family’s identity and habits. Once a picture is online, it can be tough to control where it can be seen and how it is used – despite being careful with your own privacy settings. Follow these simple tips for safer sharing:

4. 7 safer ways to share photos

5. From toddler to teen

The internet has a long memory, and it can be very difficult to remove your digital footprint. Children have a right to dignity and privacy, both now and in the future. However cute it is, an "embarrassing" photo could be seen by their future employer, high school friends, or even potential partners. Your child might not want to be reminded of their “awkward” phase after it’s over. A good rule of thumb is not to post the sorts of pictures of your child that you wouldn’t be happy sharing of yourself.

6. Safer sharing

How can I share family milestones more safely?

Ban or blur the school badge.

Tip one

Make it a non-uniform day

Don’t post photos of your child in their full school uniform, or outside their school – this can lead to easy identification of your children or their friends.

Don't play tag!

Tip two

Ask others not to tag.

Ask friends and family not to tag themselves in photos of your child – this can make your picture viewable by their friends and followers.

Ask before posting!

Tip three

Don't post without permission.

Ask permission before posting photos of someone else’s child – avoid the awkwardness of a friend asking you to take something down.

Never post nude photos!

Tip four

Keep their clothes on!

Don't post nude or nearly nude pictures of your child; even innocent pictures can be harvested, posted elsewhere online and potentially accessed by predators.