Should you post pictures of children online?

Most people give no thought whatsoever to posting pictures of their children online. They are proud of their kids, they love them…so why not show the world how wonderful they are so others can enjoy each milestone too? Plus, Grandma and Auntie live so far away, and they want to keep up with new pictures and videos. And as long as you set up all the privacy settings so only your close relatives and friends can see them, then what’s the big deal?

Well, it is a big deal. Nothing online is as it seems, and the biggest problem with people is that they are too nice and don’t think like a bad guy thinks. A recent article in TIME magazine, written by Randi Zuckerberg—yes, the Facebook founder’s sister—argues the shift that is occurring is inevitable and we should all just deal with it. Well, Randi, I just don’t agree. Here’s why:

Digital is repeatable: This means every picture and video can be liked, shared, copied, pasted, emailed and screenshot—which means you really have no control over who does what with that media you just posted.

Predators: There are very disturbed people out there looking for kids, because children are vulnerable and certain predators target kids. Would you want some weirdo in a park staring at your kid? No. Would you want some weirdo staring at your kid online? No.

Privacy: Your children have a right to privacy. Just because they are five and you think it’s fun to post their photos online—and maybe they think it’s fun too—what makes you think in 10 years they will want their entire childhood posted on the web? Digital media lasts forever, and maybe they might not want their identity all over the web in the first place. You really have no right.

Tagging: Anyone can take a picture and tag it. I forbid anyone to take pics of my kids and post them online and tag them. They have no business exposing my kids to the world, and I don’t approve.

Facial recognition: Many apps incorporate facial recognition into their technologies. This is still an unproven technology, and we really don’t know what the full impact will be.

Photos of babies have shown up on Craigslist with that baby for sale. Kids’ pics are being collected by weirdos and criminals because that’s what they do. Social media is only 10 years old. This is all too new. An entire generation is being exposed without their permission. Think about it.

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

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