The news recently did a story on Sharenting. I didn’t know what it was either. Sharenting is when a parent shares photos, birthday and personal details about their kids online. This can have negative consequences to their well being.
As a parent, I rarely share information on my kids online for 2 reasons. They asked me not to share information about them. I do not want someone to take their information and use it in a criminal way.
There are steps you can take, to avoid over sharing.
Sharing content on social media
Privacy – I share a lot of information on my life, but I rarely share information on my kids online. I do not want their lives mapped out without them having a say in what is out there (what if they go on to be a public figure?). I want them to have the same choice I had on what is put out there. My kids also have requested that photos of them not be posted online. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids, in fact it shows that I do love them enough to show restraint.
Photos – There are pedophiles that are out there that data mine the internet looking for photographs for inappropriate reasons. What may seem like an innocent photo to us, a pedophile might find arousing. Occasionally share photos.
Tips for not Sharenting
Edit Facebook privacy settings – Change your Facebook privacy settings to only allow Friends to see your photos/posts. This will keep strangers from seeing information you post.
Sharing information – avoid sharing your kids full name and date of birth. Did you know people can open credit cards with this information?
Don’t fill out questionnaires – There are quizzes and questionnaires I see getting shared online all the time that you just should not participate in. If they are asking to name your kids, their dates of birth, where they were born, your maiden name, mother’s maiden name. Don’t participate! These are some of the questions you are asked when setting up passwords and again you are sharing your kids personal information for a quiz. I would not fill these out, even if you had privacy settings set to friends only. If you are sharing a public post asking for information and posting your data, the person who posted it, may be able to see your information.
more social media privacy tips
Real time – Don’t post pictures of your kids real time. It shows where you are at and it let’s criminals know you aren’t home. This is not only unsafe for your kids, but for your entire family. I would also recommend not sharing when your family is going to be on vacation on social media. Share pictures of your event once you are home.
Location settings – Having your location settings turned on your phone is like GPS. There are ways (I’m told) that you can find where that picture was taken. I don’t want information on where my kids spend their time accessible online.
Should you not share anything at all? That is a personal choice. You should just really consider what you are doing online and the impact it could have on your family.
How do you protect your children’s information?