While that photo of your little one taking a bubbly bath or pulling down his pants to potty train is cute to you, a nonprofit is reminding parents that you won't be the only ones looking at the photo if you post it online. And it won't always be innocent.
For National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Child Rescue Coalition's @KidsForPrivacy campaign released a video warning parents that oversharing photos can expose children to predators. Throughout the month, parents will flood more than 100 hashtags with pictures of kids holding "Privacy Please" signs to cover their faces. These are the hashtags (#nakedkids, #kidsbathing, #bathtime and #pottytraining top the list) where predators can easily find pictures.
Every parent needs to spend a minute (literally, it's only a minute long) watching this video.
We admit, the video's points bring out parents' worst fears and a healthy dose of mom guilt. But the truth is, the "sharenting" levels are unreal. Parents take and post a ridiculous number of photos of their children and aren't careful about the privacy settings. According to CRC, by age 2, 90 percent of children have been featured on social media and most parents will post 1,500 photos of their child before they turn 5. Yet 89 percent of parents haven't checked their privacy settings in more than a year.
We get it. Why wouldn't you want to capture every passing moment with your child when memory is so fleeting?
So, sure, take all the photos you want, but pause before you post. Can that photo be potentially embarrassing for your kid later? Can the "adorable" half-naked toddler photo be viewed as sexual bait? Can only your close friends and family see the photo?
In 2016, an 18-year-old woman sued her parents for posting embarrassing childhood photos of her on Facebook without her consent and refusing to delete the photos. Parents in France were also warned by authorities not to post pictures of their kids on Facebook and that parents could go to prison for up to a year and be fined upwards of $50,000 if convicted of "publicizing details of their children's private lives without their permission."
The lesson here is clear: Check yourself before you wreck your kid's privacy.