Online privacy is always on the minds of parents. While it’s one extra item on a long list of precautions moms and dads need to take everyday, it’s no joking matter.
Yes, we so badly want to snap shots of our little ones walking, jumping, and smiling from sea to shining sea and share them with the world.
However, the danger of a child’s photo falling into the wrong hands can be devastating and once a supposedly secure space has been breached, the hole can be fixed but the damage is done.
Will this issue ever be solved or will it be an ongoing process of picking and choosing what to put online based on the risks involved?
In one recent survey entitled ‘The Future of Privacy’ by the Pew Research Internet Project a range of experts in the internet industry were asked if they felt a suitable privacy rights infrastructure would be developed in the coming decade. Fifty-five percent of respondents said no and forty-six percent said yes.
The figures are interesting but not reassuring to parents. Simply put, as guardians of our children we have little time on our hands and need a solution for the here and now -not five or ten years down the road.
So we must ask ourselves: Until something better comes along, are we willing to settle on using major social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to share our kid’s lives with family and friends? One major drawback is the fact we often connect to so many people through these platforms the tight knit group we’re thinking about reaching includes hundreds if not thousands of others.
There are alternatives which may better serve our purposes and include a small but growing niche of apps that cater to parents. They help build and share a child’s life story in a secure environment, claiming great organizational capabilities and a high level of privacy. Some are great and while prying others away from bigger platforms might not be easy, it may be worth a try if they improve privacy.
Of course, you could still correspond with family through snail mail, but when was the last time you mailed anything other than maybe a check? Email is on option but it can get very disorganized.
That said, for parents to have some peace of mind, it’s best to come up with a game plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect but should provide a structure for how best to deal with sharing your children’s photos online. If you haven’t already, at some point you’ll be presented with this dilemma so consider the following.
- Decide on one platform to focus on at a time.
- Learn about it’s privacy levels and related settings.
- Make sure you have control over uploaded materials, that no one else can share them.
- Does the platform have good organization? It will be a plus.
- Make sure uploads remain your property.
- Decide who your connections should be (family, friends, other parents).
- Periodically back up account.
- Stay updated in case terms or settings change.
- Come to an agreement on all this with your spouse or partner (if applicable).
- Don’t compromise on your child’s safety. Remember: A picture is worth a thousand words but your child’s life and future is priceless, -not to mention they might be embarrassed down the road over what comes up in a search engine.
Good luck navigating through the ever changing world of online privacy!
Photo Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons
About the Author
Jakob Barry writes for Remini, an app that that helps parents build and share a child’s life story in a secure environment and allows early childhood educators to be part of the storytelling.