Most of us share so much of ourselves and our lives online—and parents are no different. With today’s moms and dads being more internet savvy than ever, it’s not surprising to see many posting about their children (even before they’re born) regularly. This predilection, and sometimes, over enthusiasm to share has been referred to as “sharenting.”
The constant documentation of our kids is so prevalent that it’s been normalized but the thing is, it shouldn’t be. If you’re part of this trend, you should realize that you’re creating a digital footprint for your child way before he or she has any say about it and that digital identity is going to stay whether or not he or she likes it. It’s easy to forget how these can be potentially harmful in the future, what with your overwhelming feelings of pride and joy.
Time for a reality check, here are four ways sharenting online might put your child at risk, and why you should think twice before posting all those baby pics.
Sharing online can invade your child’s privacy. Parents are in effect taking control of their child’s digital identity, without their consent. Those funny bath time snaps and other sensitive photos may impact their future social lives (sure, you think it’s cute now, but that isn’t you in the embarrassing photo), and even employment, and undermine their trust in you.
Your child’s identity can be stolen. There’s been quite a number of digital kidnapping incidents in recent years. It’s a kind of identity theft that happens when another person takes the photos of a child from social media, creates a new name and identity, and then claims the child as their own.
Online predators might exploit kids’ photos. You need to be extra careful before sharing any kind of information about your child. Online predators are adult users who seek to exploit vulnerable children for sexual or other abusive purposes. They can get your kid’s photos and videos and post them on child pornography websites and other disturbing forums.
You can’t take anything back. Once posted, those photos of your child will always be out there on a server. Even if you do tighten your privacy settings, anything shared online can, with a few indiscreet clicks, become public property.
It’s understandable to want to share about your kids, just be cautious about it and keep in mind the implications it might have on their future. It’s great to find a safe space that guarantees your and your children’s privacy like Viber. As one of the country’s top communications apps, Viber prioritizes its users’ data privacy to allow everyone to connect and share securely.
Its end-to-end encryption security measure basically means that anything you send becomes coded and stays that way until your intended recipient gets it. No one else—not even Viber—can read any of your messages or see any of your photos and videos.
Viber’s security features give you full control over your data—you can delete messages any time and even add an extra level of privacy through the Secret Chats, which allows users to set a time limit on individual messages and control how long they are visible to the recipient before they disappear.
As Viber helps you connect and build stronger relationships with your loved ones here and around the world, the communications app continues its efforts in securing your privacy and security so you can share freely.