Parents, be careful before posting your kid’s photo on social media as sharing with others about your child on digital platform may lead to unanticipated risks in future, according to new research. Information shared can be stolen or repeatedly re-shared, unbeknownst to parents, potentially ending in the hands of pedophiles or identify thieves, the study suggested.
“The amount of information placed in the digital universe about our children in just a few short years is staggering,” said Bahareh Keith, Assistant Professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine, US.
Parents often consider how to best protect children while the child is using the internet. However, parents initially don’t always consider how their own use of social media may affect their children’s well-being.
“When we share on social media, we must all consider how our online actions affects our children’s well-being, both today and long into the future,” the author added.
They also advised never to share pictures that show their children in any state of undress or share their child’s actual location in a post.
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“Even more likely, the child might one day want to have some privacy and control over his or her digital identity. Untangling the parent’s right to share his or her own story and the child’s right to enter adulthood free to create his or her own digital footprint is a daunting task,” said Stacey Steinberg, Law Professor, University of Florida Levin College of Law added.
The study suggested that paediatricians can advocate for increased awareness and healthy thumb rules among parents to protect a child’s online identity.