The Danger of Oversharing Photos of Your Kids

May 28th, 2020

Many parents today became adults during the advent of social media, sharing and oversharing personal information and photos. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are so familiar to them, they overshare photos of their children, too, without pausing to think of the dangers.

Know the Risks

There are several risks that parents should be aware of when posting images of their children or sharing anecdotes about their personal lives online. These are a few to consider: 

  • Identity Fraud — Experts predict that by the year 2030, the vast majority of identity fraud cases will be a direct result of over sharing online. According to Forbes, criminals can easily find birth dates, locations and images of children online, and they can store that data until the child is an adult. At the time they turn 18, they can begin falsely using their identity.
  • Cyberstalking — Parents who post excessive images of their children can put them at risk for cyberstalking. Even private photos are easy to come by, and if they get into the wrong hands, it can leave a child in serious danger. In 2018, a man broke into a 13-year-old girl’s room in California after figuring out where she lived through photos on Instagram. (He was arrested.)
  • Detrimental Impact on Future Reputation — The anecdotes and photographs shared online will always exist, in some form, on the Internet. Children may find that embarrassing tales will have an impact on their ability to be hired in the future.
  • Digital Kidnapping — This is a particularly creepy one. People steal a photo of a child and use it as the basis of an elaborate role-playing fantasy. Here’s an example from a few years ago.

How Oversharing Impacts Kids’ Privacy

When parents begin sharing photos and stories about their children online, they play an active role in building their child’s identity. Since most parents start over sharing online from the time their children are infants, they never get the consent of their children. Parents need to remember that their children have an inherent right to privacy, and they should be considerate of this when posting online. Oversharing crosses that line.

Putting Your Relationship at Risk

The impact that oversharing has on the parent-child relationship will continue to reveal itself over time. Some children, as they become older and more aware of what their parents have shared online, are resentful of it. There is evidence to suggest that oversharing could have a detrimental impact on the long-term relationship between the parent and child.

Many researchers across the globe are looking into these very issues, and it’s important that parents remain aware. From cyber stalking to relationship issues, there are many risks that parents should be aware of when they are posting online.

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