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Apr 11

Think Before You Post: Preventing Child Abuse Online

With the rise of social media, 90% of children will have their photos posted on social media by the age of only two. But what makes this potentially harmful to your child is that sharing too many photos–and making them easy to find–increases the risk of online predators taking and using them. This could open up the image to abuse, or your child to bullying.

Adorable or Embarrassing?

Parents have a very different idea about what’s cute when it comes to their kids. And it may be cute to your child too–when they’re little. As adolescents, teenagers, and adults, easily-accessed and embarrassing photos might affect their social lives.

Bullies are everywhere, and at any age. Posting pictures online–especially embarrassing ones–could make it easy for online and in-person bullies to locate them. There is also a chance that they would use these photos to humiliate or coerce another child. The best way to prevent this kind of bullying is to avoid posting pictures in the first place. Or, if you really want to share them, make sure that they are private and that you ask the permission of your child first. He or she will know what is embarrassing to them, and can talk through their concerns with you.

The Risk of Abuse

Many parents, believing the photos are innocent, post pictures of their toddler or child naked or in the bath. And yes, it is likely innocent–for family members’ private viewing. Posting these online greatly amplifies the risk of someone taking your child’s photos and using them as pornography. In turn, this may increase the chance that your child could be abused by someone who has viewed pornography.

 

However, this is not meant to frighten parents away from posting pictures of their kids at all. We merely ask you to consider the implications of posting any photos of your child before hitting Post.

We want to help you keep your kids safe! If you have any questions on how, call or contact us today!