SOCIAL NETWORKING AND CHILD SAFETY: When posts become a nightmare

In the time of new media and social networking, how does a parent go about keeping the privacy of their children or babies? Online networking is great for keeping in touch and for even introducing your new child to family across the terrain. However, introducing your baby to the world means just that – the WORLD!

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What seems like a harmless means of communication becomes an open wound for those out to do wrong. It may sound pessimistic, but it is a parental truth.

More and more, we see the dangers of social networking – amidst its many positives. It has been documented that sexual predators and scam artists have become privy to these new ways to exploit and locate would-be victims. Who can forget the Craigslist tragedy?

Though you as a parent may be wary and take the necessary precautions on your sites, what do you do when others (family and friends) post pictures of your little one? They obviously do not have bad intentions, but there are ways to take guard.

  • Don’t assume. Don’t always assume your photo is private. When someone snaps a shot of your little one (or before they do), let them know whether or not you would mind it being on a social network for all to see.
  • Do investigate. Know who posts pictures of your babe. Search your friends and their friends.
  • Do report. If you see strange comments posted about your little one, speak up and report it to the social network’s admin.
  • Do communicate. Let your family and friends know if you are uncomfortable about posting certain pictures. Maybe that innocent pic of your cutie in a bathing suit is not proper for the web.

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