With the power of the Internet and social media, you can share your children’s pictures and latest accomplishments with anyone in the world. It can be tempting to document almost every detail and put it out there on Facebook or Tumblr. However, Fox News, Web Sleuth, Guardian, and Child Abuse Data report that pedophiles frequently use such sites to pick out their future victims. You need to make sure that you take the necessary steps to keep your children safe.
Turn Off GPS Data
According to a shocking report entitled “Turn That GPS Off,” pictures taken on smart phones include encrypted information about the location of the picture and the smartphone. Through this, pedophiles and criminals can use the data encrypted in a picture to find out where it was taken and at what time. With enough images, they can put together a fairly accurate time table of your child’s activities. The Child Safety Blog warns all parents to turn off GPS collecting data before taking photos of their children. If in doubt, they recommend against sharing the picture at all.
Encrypt When Sharing Through Email and Online Sharing Options
Take the time to encrypt your children’s pictures even when emailing them or using online file sharing options. This becomes particularly important when you’re dealing with images of your children naked. Baby Center recommends that mothers use caution when sharing images of their children’s skin issues or other similar problems with other mothers in order to access their collected wisdom on the issue. There’s nothing wrong with this, but your images may be reshared without regards to your privacy preferences. Remember that you need to encrypt the cute photos too. Bathtub pictures are adorable, but you don’t want someone else looking at your baby.
Be Cautious with the Pictures You Share Online
Even if you are using the maximum privacy settings on your social media accounts, refrain from sharing images or pictures that you don’t want to be widely distributed. According to reports from Fox News and CBS, hackers can get past the privacy settings on Facebook and access even pictures that have been deleted. Encrypted and password protected emails are generally safer options. Secure file sharing can also be a good option. Take the time to look into your service’s track record with regards to file security before entrusting it with pictures of your children.
Avoid Sharing Images Online with Identifying Information
It’s great to share pictures of your children’s various stages in life. You don’t have to refrain from putting up any pictures at all. Just make sure that you check the pictures that you do upload through file sharing or social media. Try to avoid sharing any that have identifying information such as birthdates, addresses, and phone numbers. As a general rule, it’s best not to post the pictures as soon as the event happens either. When you’re on vacation or off at a game, wait for a couple days to share. This way it’s harder for criminals to determine your patterns.