Photos of our children are a fundamental part of Facebook. Sharing cool moments in our children’s lives is how many of us keep our friends and relatives in the loop.
In truth, we’re doing more than that. We’re also creating our children’s online identities, sometimes posting their faces and names before the children know them. With every Facebook post, YouTube video, and Instagram shot, we may be preventing today’s generation, which will be the first whose entire lives exist on social media, from any hope of future anonymity.
“Depending on the amount and types of memories stored in the digital space by their parents, children will have access to a digital persona of themselves that (for many) will date back to their infancy, something that none of us have had in the past,” said Michaelanne Dye, who holds an MA in cyberanthropology and researches and writes about social media.
Facebook images are live, stored forever, and searchable, especially if you don’t have strict privacy settings. As with any profile, unless someone has the login and can authenticate it, there's no way to delete it.
In her Slate.com article titled “We Post Nothing about Our Daughter Online,” author Amy Webb said that our children simply aren’t safe on social media. Webb said that a growing number of applications and websites are relying on facial recognition and bio-identification, and hackers have already built unauthorized apps that scan faces on your smart phone and immediately display the name and basic biographical information of the person with that face.
Co-founder of Secure.me, Christian Sigl said that posting photos online of your child not only jeopardizes the child’s safety, but it also teaches the child that sharing personal information and images is okay.
“Posting pics of a cute three- or four-year-old can not only affect today’s safety of their child, it will also be difficult to explain to their child in the future why they should keep back photos and personal information when they grow old enough to be allowed to use social networks themselves,” he said.
Do you hesitate before sharing photos of your child on Facebook?