Do Parents Have The Right To Post Pictures Of Their Kids Online

10:13 AM

Many parents wonder is it safe to post baby pictures online. Cyber safety expert Sue Scheff weighs in on what our kids' digital footprints mean to them.

sue scheff cyber safety

My Kid Has A Digital Footprint And Chances Are, Yours Does, Too

Cyber safety has proven to be at the forefront of parents' minds. With the rise in technology and social media use both at home and at school, kids have access to more technology than ever. While there are both pros and cons to this fact, the increase in our kids' digital footprints creates a whole new slew of parenting questions to ask, including what are the dangers of parents posting photos of kids online and is it safe to post baby pictures of our kids. On VProud, there's an amazing video and discussion about this very topic. And below, cyber safety expert Sue Scheff responds to a question she hears from parents quite often: 
Do parents have the right to post pictures of their kids online? This is such an interesting question considering how much and how often so many of us post pictures of our kids. Distilled, her advice sounds like this: Just because you have a right, doesn't make it right. Take a look at Sue's explanation of what she means by this answer and see how her thoughts influence your posting kids' pictures habits.

—The VProud Team

digital footprints

Controlling your child's digital footprint: Do parents have the right to post pictures of their kids online?

By Sue Scheff for VProud

Just because you have a right, doesn't make it right. In today's digital space, there are many things to consider before you simply post a photo of your child. The age of the child. Did you know that child pornography is the largest growing business online - and cyber-criminals are quick to grab innocent photos for unsavory reasons? Yes, your child can be digitally kidnapped. This is why privacy settings are crucial and behind that is knowing exactly who your friends (and sometime family) are that you are allowing to see your adorable pictures.

The fact is we are living in a society that is much different than generations prior. Your child's digital footprint will determine many things in their future. An online reputation will likely be the first impression a college recruiter will know about them or a potential employer. Career Builders surveys have proven this every year: 51% of potential applicants are not hired due to their social media behavior. This number has been growing each year since they started the survey.

I don't want to be a Debby Downer since I believe the Internet is a wonderful educational tool, social media has proven to be an excellent source of support for parents and friends as well as a gathering place to meet new people that have the same interests.
What doesn't change is the way we live offline, we need to implement online. It's about safety. I don't want to infringe on your fun or even your bragging rights, but safety is always the priority. Do you have a right to post your child's picture? You are the parent, but you have a responsibility to your child - so before you post, consider the following:

  • · Pause before you post the picture.
  • Is it embarrassing to them?
  • Be sure your privacy settings are secure and limited to the friends and family you selected. (Keep in mind, sometimes your mobile device may have a different privacy settings than your tablet or other gadgets).
  • If your child is a tween or tween, you probably should ask their permission. Building trust with tweens and teens is imperative.
  • And for the parent that commented that - "all parents are doing it," keep that in mind when you have a teenager that wants to stay out until 2am and tells you all parents allow their kids to stay out until that hour. Just because everyone is doing, doesn't make it right - or it doesn't mean your family does it.
SueScheff vproud
About the author: Sue Scheff is a nationally-recognized author and speaker, parent advocate and cyber advocate who is concerned with promoting awareness of cyberbullying and other online issues. In addition to being a regular contributor on Huffington Post, she contributes to a wide variety of parenting and Internet safety publications and websites. To connect with Sue, or to learn more about her efforts, follow her on Twitter @SueScheff or visit her website. Join Sue's honest conversations on VProud.

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