Never before has the phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ been more relevant within society than it is today. In a digital world driven by social media, taking pictures and videos on your smartphone has become a part of modern-day life.
And we don’t just take pictures now; we share them on a massive scale. In fact on Facebook alone, more pictures are now shared in the space of a month than were taken in the whole of 1999, before camera phones went on sale.
But how often do we stop and consider what happens to these pictures we’re sharing, and the information they contain about our personal lives?
As parents we need to make sure our children understand the implications of their digital footprint; being careful about what they post online and respectful of others in the digital world. But it’s also vital that we self-regulate our own online habits.
From the moment they’re born, our children’s lives are being documented across the internet, so it’s vital to be aware of the potential risks of sharing too much information and the trail left behind.
Before posting any pictures or videos of your children, or indeed your friend’s children, check your privacy settings and work out who is able to view your updates. Avoid posting pictures of your kids that might identify where you live or which school they go to, indeed many schools now ask parents not to post pictures of school plays and events onto social media.
An image you might consider humorous or cute could open the door to cyberbullying from your child’s peer group. So it might be a good idea to agree with your son or daughter before sharing a private moment on your own social media accounts.
With Halloween just around the corner there will no doubt be countless more images, statuses and updates shared across every social media platform. This is also an opportunity to talk through, as a family, how to share things safely online.
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