This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social and is part of the ‘Be Safe. Be Social’ series.

Answer this one honestly, how many parents actually check (and by check I mean go through the details in your settings) the privacy settings on their Facebook page before choosing to share photos of their children online? If you do check you settings then you are one of the safety conscious few who do.

Alarmingly, more than 900 images of children are being shared online by parents before their fifth birthday despite not checking their social network privacy settings according to research from online safety site, The Parent Zone on behalf of safety campaign, ‘knowthenet.’

There is nothing wrong with sharing photos of your child on Facebook provided you are aware of who you are sharing the photo with and I mean you know exactly who you are sharing the photo with. However 17% of parents admitted that they have never checked their Facebook privacy settings.

Facebook enables users to limit who can see what they post to the site but you have to go and manually tweak the settings from public to private in your Facebook privacy settings. By default Facebook wants people to share as publicly as possible so it is up to you to take the responsibility and alter settings where appropriate.

The research also shows that 46% of parents have only checked their privacy settings once or twice despite the fact that Facebook is the most common photo sharing platform and is known for tweaking user privacy settings from time to time. Basically you need to be checking your privacy settings more than just the odd time especially when it comes to sharing photos of your children.

The knowthenet campaign is being run by internet registry site Nominet, whose chief executive Russell Haworth said:

“We all love to share those precious moments in our children’s lives with friends and family and sites like Facebook have made it easier than ever. While the web helps relatives to keep in touch and participate in our everyday lives, it also has the potential to lead to accidental over-sharing. It’s important to ensure that the correct privacy settings are in place to safeguard our personal information and content. Parents are creating a large digital footprint for their child from a young age and the right settings are important if you want to stay in control.”

Of course you should feel comfortable uploading your childs photos to Facebook however it is up to you to check the privacy settings on your account, Facebook is not going to do that for you. Go to the privacy settings in your Facebook, make sure they are set they way you want them to be set.

Don’t delude yourself into thinking nothing bad can ever happen to you, the internet is full of people with sick and malicious intent. It is just part of the internet that comes with all the magnificent wonder we get from being online and connected. Make sure you check the settings before you upload and keep your uploads to family and friends only.

Facebook is set by default to share publicly and if you don’t take the steps to change that for yourself then those photos you share are public and viewable by anyone. Just like you protect your child in every day life it is important to take the steps to protect them online too.


 

About The Author

Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis. He has an Advanced Diploma in Psychology and a Diploma in Digital Marketing And Social Media. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here. Or you can drop Mark an email at, [email protected]

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