Sharing photos of kids seems to be pretty common on social media sites. It’s fun to post videos and pictures of special events of your kids with family and friends. Social media makes it so easy and quick. You can reach out to dozens or even hundreds and thousands of people at once to share your happy memory.
However, many share these photos innocently, not realizing there are dangers attached. Child predators are also on social media sites, viewing posts of kids, looking for an opportunity to make their next move. They often use photos of children in a twisted way.
Tip within a tip: Protecting your kids online is one of your top priorities. That's why you need to see if your kids are using this dangerous service. Click here for more information on the messaging app that was found to be a child predator's paradise!
If you’re in a high-profile position, the risks are higher but everyone should be on guard when posting photos of children. There are ways to avoid making mistakes. The key is to be cautious.
Print or encrypt photos
If you want to avoid all risks associated with posting kids photos online, the safest thing you can do is to print photos.
Aside from that, your next secure option is to use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps. Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp, or Signal can send photos to an individual or a group and you can do it right from your phone. There’s even a disappearing messages feature that’ll delete photos either after they’ve been viewed or after a certain amount of time.
Note: If you're using WhatsApp, be very careful. A smishing scam was discovered earlier this year where scammers were using this popular app to trick people into handing over their credit card information. Click here to learn the signs of this scam so you can avoid them.
Photo apps is another way of sharing photos but are still fun at the same time. Make sure to use apps from reputable companies. Apple’s Photos and Google Photos are both good apps that allow you to share images securely, even shared family albums. These companies don’t scan photos so you don’t need to worry about them being used for advertising purposes. Photos will only show up in your library, not in databases.
The safest way to share photos using apps like these is with someone else who has the same app. The apps also allow you to generate a unique URL as well that you can send to anyone. Google promises this URL is not readable and will not show up in searches.
Facebook and other social media sites are definitely the easiest way to send photos of kids. You can definitely still use these sites but take a few precautions.
Even private images on social media can be associated with a profile connected to you. It’s too easy for a stranger to hack your account or create a fake profile to friend you.
The best thing you can do is to set up private groups for sharing kid photos. Check sharing preferences, set your Instagram account to private and whatever you do, don’t post any photos of your kids on Twitter.
You'll also want to turn on two-factor authentication when possible as well as dedicated photo apps.
Let your family know your concerns and the precautions you’re taking so, hopefully, they’ll respect your wishes and not share photos for everyone to see.