You share your child's fancy dress picture online and are thrilled with the number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ it gets. But did it occur to you that somewhere, someone undesirable is also privy to that photo? That person who is technically is stranger, probably knows your child’s name, which school s/he goes to and even what time s/he comes home. Scary, right?
There’s a dark side to world of the internet that you may say we don’t know much about.
But the results of a recent survey might shock you.
This survey, titled, ‘The Age of Consent’ was conducted with 1000 parents of young children across Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. It revealed that 76% of parents admitted to knowing that these pictures they post online could get into wrong hands, but did it anyway.
The shock doesn’t end there. It was found 66.5% parents in Mumbai, 61% parents from Delhi and 55% Bengaluru parents said they had a right to share their children’s pictures online without consulting them. The parents say they do so to stay connected with friends and family.
These respondents also revealed that were aware of the dangers of posting pictures online, such as: pedophilia (16.5% respondents were aware), stalking (32%), kidnapping (43%), and cyber bullying (23%).
So why do parents post pictures of their children online anyway? The primary reason could be that they believe nothing bad can happen to their child.
It is this belief that we hold on to, when we drop our children to school, despite being surrounded by incidents of abuse, bullying and kidnapping. But isn’t it always better to be safe than be sorry later on? So before you think of sharing another cute photo, here are precautionary measures to take before you post your child’s picture online:
Check privacy settings
Most renowned social media sites come with privacy settings. Make sure you know who your timeline audience is.
Turn of geotagging
Most social sites automatically tag a user’s location when a photo is uploaded. Make sure this is turned off
Do not share card details carelessly
While making payments online, make sure you are using a secure website. Freeze the credit limit so that unauthorised payments cannot be made. Do this for older children using a card as well.
Ask your family members, Whatsapp groups, and friends to not share any of your personal pictures anywhere else unless you wish for them to do so
Monitor your child’s online activities
Younger children can easily go into partner and connected unsafe sites through games or apps. Make sure you have security settings in place. Talk to your older kids about cyberbullying and how to protect themselves.
Let’s not do something now that might bite back at our children’s future. Stay safe, and be responsible online.
Disclaimer: Information has been sourced from The Times of India.