We all have either a friend or a family member who often bombards social networking sites with their pictures and updates. Nowadays, for parents, adults and family members, social media is an essential part of their lives, just the way letters and telephones were important once upon a time. However, little do they realise that this habit may put their kids at risk for embarrassment, or even worse, making them a potential target for child predators
According to new research of American Academy of Paediatrics, there are potential risks of sharing information about their children online which can lead them to danger in various ways.
“Posting minute details of kids may be fascinating to parents, but it leads to major problems for their kids. Giving details of child’s school, classes or other whereabouts puts child in danger of identity theft or online predators. Parents should stop showing off their places of holidays, addresses of any visits, it is the most dangerous thing to post on social media,” said Dr Samir Dalwai, president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics.
Dalwai added, “Children pictures are most of the time sexually abused when parents post pictures online. Posting bathing or nude pictures of kids which may seem cute to parents are often misused and shared by online theft for pornography. Adults are so attracted to likes and comments on social medial that they do not realise how it can be harmful for their kids.”
There are plenty of good things about social media but also many dangerous things that you would want close one to avoid. It is not the smartest choice when people post important details on social media, which sometimes can lead to problems.
“Child shamming pictures or posts can have devastating effects on kids in the short and long term. It may cause traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety later in life. Certain pictures or posts online may impact your child at school. For instance, a picture exposing a weakness, fear or maybe a silly nickname could humiliate your child and have ill effect on his social life” said Dr Mukesh Sanklecha, paediatrician of Bombay Hospital.
Protecting child’s privacy in social media attracted world is very essential. Before sharing, you should give thought to exactly who can see photos and comments featuring your child, and how this online footprint might affect your child in years to come. “Kids should create their own footprint rather than been created by their parents in their childhood” said Dalwai.
Things parents should know before posting on social media
Dr Dalwai lists a few things that can help parents protect their kids from ill-effects of social media on their lives
- Know your privacy settings
- Only share with known people
- Don’t post pictures that show your child in any state of undress.
- Do consider the effect sharing can have on your child’s current and future sense of self and well-being