1. Look ahead
Whenever you want to post something online about your child, it’s worth thinking about the digital footprint(external link) you are creating for them. Some photos or content may seem harmless now but could lead to something more negative later. Think about how your child might feel about the content you’re sharing once they’re older and how it may affect their future. No previous generation of children has had so public a childhood and not all of them are happy about it when they’re older.
2. Ask for permission
Does the photo you’re about to post include other people’s children? It’s best if you ask their parents for permission before you post a photo online. If your children are old enough consider asking them if they’re okay for you to share it before you post a photo as well. Asking for permission before you post is a great way to teach them about respect and consent online.
3. Check your privacy settings
If you’re thinking about sharing a photo of your child on social media it’s important that you first check what privacy settings you have set up. Some social media networks default to public or more open privacy settings when you sign up so make sure what you’re posting can only be seen by the people you’d like to see it.
4. Think about who is in your network
A lot of people have social media networks that include people they aren’t close to anymore. Make sure you are happy with everyone in your social media network seeing the photo – if you’re not sure or if you’d prefer to share it only with a smaller group consider setting up a private group chat.
5. Consider the personal information in the picture
Before you hit post, have another close look at the photo to make sure you’re not revealing any personal information about yourself or your child. Some things to look out for include: the name of your child’s school, your road or house number or any other personal or private information that people could use to build a profile of your child – potentially exposing them to identity theft or online grooming. Parents can protect their tamariki by blurring photos which show uniform logos or crests.