Moms are asking if it’s really safe to post photos of their kids on social media

The attempted kidnapping of a 4-year-old girl in Gauteng last week has parents stressed out!

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How many times have you had to delete photos from your phone because your memory was full? And almost all the photos are of our kids. Some of them we share on social media, others just stay on our phone for months until we need to make space for new ones.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to show your kids’ milestones off on social media to friends and family, but with the increase in child kidnappings in South Africa, parents are starting to ask if it’s really safe to put those photos out on the Internet.

ALSO SEE: Child kidnappings are on the increase in SA, but yet no recent stats are available

First day at school photos almost always go on Facebook or Instgram  – we love showing how cute our kids look in their little too big school uniforms.

But this is really dangerous moms and dads.

These are the risks:

  • Your child’s face and name is now all over the internet on social media. This picture and information can be used by anyone – be it for positive or negative use.
  • Your child’s uniform (if you posted a school photo) usually has the name of the school on it, so everyone who has access to the image will now know which school your child goes to.
  • You could have location settings or open privacy settings on your phone. Followers can easily track where the image was taken and go to the exact location.

“Social media sites are accessible to anyone and everyone who has a desktop or a smart phone. Not everyone on social media uses it for the sheer pleasure of uploading content and sharing memories with friends and family. There is a rise of online predators lurking to cause harm to children on social media platforms. Each time you post a picture of your child, you could be contributing to your child’s digital footprint,” says acting CEO of the Film and Publication Board (FPB), Sandile Nene.

ALSO SEE: What you need to know about posting pics of your kids online

Take these safety tips from the FPB into consideration when sharing photos of your children online:

  • Apply caution when uploading pictures of yourself or your children in their school uniform. If the name of the school is on the uniform, it can pose a danger to your child.
  • Be careful not to post your home (or school) address, phone number or any personal information online. These can be used to locate your child at any moment.

ALSO SEE: How to keep your kids’ photos safe online

  • Know how to operate the location settings on your phone. The images you upload have a location on them if the settings are not turned off.
  • Know how to activate the privacy settings on your social media pages. Images you upload can be accessible to anyone and everyone if your privacy settings are not activated.
  • If your children are on social media, follow them so that you know what they are posting. This allows you to monitor the content they post and advise them accordingly.
  • Know the passwords and log-in details of your child’s social media handles. Children tend to hide things from parents and it’s important to have access to their social media platforms so you can know who they talk to and what they talk about.
  • Don’t post pictures of other children on your social media platforms without their parents’ consent. This has serious legal ramifications.
  • Ask your friends not to share photos of your kids on social media. You may have excellent security settings in place for your own social media accounts, but your friends and family members might not be as diligent.
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