As any of my Facebook friends will know, I love taking photos of my children, and because so many of our family and friends live oversee, I will regularly update my profile with photos of my adventures with my little guys so that I share these fun moments with those I am close to. However, with so much in the media at the moment about the some of the evils online, I've definitely been wondering whether my photos are as safe as I'd like them to be.
, Image courtesy of Your Kids Online
Expert Opinion In a recent article on Cyber Safety, expert Robyn Rishani commented that, "a lot of parents are quite active on social media but are often unaware that possibly millions of people can see what they post. Many parents and children don’t realise that posting half-naked pictures of under-age children online can potentially get into the hands of paedophiles,”
This is quite a scary thought, and certainly not the intention of parents sharing their happiest moments with their children. Ms Rishani said.“The thing with social media is that even when settings are private, photos can still be shared, and once shared they are essentially a free-for-all!” she said “Paedophiles scour the internet looking for pictures of tweens, teens and childrenthat they can snatch and use for their own pleasure, and then share those pictures with their network.”
So How Do I Keep My Photos Safe?
I still want to be able to share photos of my children with my friends and family, so to do this, I've taken on board some of the tips from Ms Rishani so that I'm a little more cyber aware when I'm posting images on the internet.
1. Think before you post a photo on line. Is the photo appropriate to be posted online; is there anything in the image that could be used by a paedophile ?
2. Check who you are sharing your image with Ensure that your post is set to private, so that only your friends and family can actually see the image. More than this, regularly review your friends list on Facebook or Instagram, to make sure you are posting the photo to an audience that you trust. Are you confident that none of your 'friends' or followers would share your photo without your consent? A regular review of your friends list will ensure that photos remain private.
3. Location Services If you are taking photos with your phone make sure that location services is switched off to disable the geo-tagging meta-data that pin points the exact location of where the photo was taken.
For myself, in addition to checking my Facebook account settings, I took the decision to set up a different account with another photo sharing social media, and have only shared this my immediate family (grand parents and siblings). This is where I share my most special of photos, that perhaps all of my Facebook friends don't need to see.
Do you worry about the safety of your photos online?
Cyber Safety Expert Robyn Rishani, owner of Your Kids Online
Your Kids Online, believe that education is the key to protecting your children online, to find out more about the education seminars that they run click here.