There's quite a lot of conflicting advice floating around the internet about taking & posting photos of your kids online.
How many are too many? Are we potentially breaching their privacy? Will they be embarrassed of all their baby photos posted online when they're older?
It's Jess here, and I personally think it's up to you how many photos you post of your kids, and, of course, the topic of your photo - your child!
When age appropriate, perhaps ask them if they mind you posting it to Social Media? And consider checking in again when they're older to see if they're still happy about it.
Whatever you & your kids decide, what I really want to ensure is that you are posting safely! So here are a few tips to ensure you're doing everything you can to keep your kid’s photos safe online:
1. Make sure you turn off the ‘location’ settings on the app you are using to share the photo.
You can see I have my location setting turned on, since I need it on for some apps such as Maps & my running app. But I have turned it off for apps that I either don't want to share my location with, or I don't need to, as they also drain your battery life.
In a iPhone it's via the following:
Settings > Privacy > Location
You can then go into each app and either turn it off or change it to “While Using.”
And now; turning off “Location” for an Android phone:
1. Go to Settings and tap on Applications.
2. Then tap on the Options button in the top right hand corner.
3. Then tap on “App Permissions.”
4. After that scroll down and tap on “Location.”
5. Now scroll down and find your photo sharing apps, such as Instagram, and turn the location switch off.
2. Ensure you can't identify your kid’s school uniform.
You can download a blurring photo app. There are heaps of free blurring apps that are super easy to navigate. This is my Harper (who is very happy for me to post this!) after winning a little award. It's a special moment that I want to share with my friends and family online, but I want to ensure it does not jeopardise his safety. As you can see I’ve just blurred out the name on the school logo.
3. Make sure your Social Network profiles are private
Here I’ll explain the two most popular photo sharing apps; Facebook & Instagram. But if you’re using something else & are unsure, YouTube is usually a great source for instructional videos.
Instagram is relatively easy and you can make your profile private in two short steps.
1. Click on the settings wheel in the top right-hand corner on your profile as below.
2. Scroll down to find the ‘Private Account’ option.
Ensuring your Facebook page is completely private is a little bit more complicated. Well, not complicated, just a billion more steps. So it’s easier to follow this YouTube video: Making my Facebook private
4. Make sure your children are clothed.
Bubble bath photos are super cute but, perhaps, keep them private as you don't want naked or semi-naked photos of your children ending up in the wrong hands
5. Private versus public photography laws.
In Australia, there are no laws specifically prohibiting photographing and filming people (including children) in public places as long as it’s deemed lawful.
It is unlawful for photographs and film to be taken that are:
- used to cyberbully
- used for commercial purposes without the consent of the subject
- being used for voyeurism
- protected by a court order
- in a provocative or sexual manner
Also keep in mind that having access to a location does not mean it is a public place. Schools, child care services, hospitals, nursing homes, shopping malls, sports arenas, and music venues are all examples of places considered to be private property, even if they are owned by government. Often these types of places will have their own policies around taking & sharing photos. Why did we include this tip? This is mainly relevant when you are including other people's kids in your happy snaps taken somewhere like their school. Rule of thumb - Get permission from the parent before taking a photo of your child with their BFF and ask if it’s ok to post it, and if in a private place ensure you have adhered to their policies, too.
By Jessica Hill, Family Zone
Jess is a mum of two and came on board at Family Zone after she worked as an Intelligence Analyst for the WA Police for 9 years. During that time she was placed in the cyber area of the Sex Crime Division where she dealt with families and victims of cybercrime, and her passion for cyber safety developed. “I couldn't believe the enormity of cases in sexting, grooming and paedophilia that I dealt with on a daily basis. One of the common themes I saw was parents overwhelmed & not knowing what to do. I really wanted to get involved in a prevention role where I could help families protect their children. Family Zone is this and more!!” Cyber Safety Sorted!