Sharing: What are they and can they be harmful to children? – News 24

When sharing children’s photos and videos on social media, experts say it’s important for parents to consider their children’s best interests so they don’t overshare and protect their right to privacy, and to avoid potential worst-case scenarios such as identity fraud. In the future.

This practice is known as “sharing” and occurs when parents post sensitive content about their young children on online platforms, often without their consent, where children may be too young to give it up or understand the full extent of what they consent to.

According to a 2020 study in the UK, the average parent will post 1,500 photos of their children online at the age of five. The study also indicated that nearly a third of parents surveyed said they had never considered asking the child’s permission before publishing, with 55% saying they weren’t worried about the repercussions.

Although messages from parents may seem harmless enough, studies estimate that “sharing” will play a role in two-thirds of identity theft cases young people will face by 2030. Parents also unintentionally expose their children to hacking and identification tracing, experts say. Face, child sexual abuse, and other online privacy and security threats when over-shared on social media.

Child development and parenting expert Caron Irwin told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview Wednesday that it’s important for parents to use their “best judgment” when posting photos and videos of their children online.

If the photos documented early childhood developments, such as first steps or first words, and were only available to certain family members via social media, she said it would likely be in the child’s best interest.

However, if it’s a photo or video that a child might find embarrassing when they grow up, or if a parent is sharing content “just to share”, it may not have been the case.

“I think it’s important to make sure that what you share puts them in a good light and that if they look back, they understand your intentions and have the same positive thoughts and feelings about that,” Irwin said.

She added that this is particularly important when it comes to sharing photos and videos of young children who may not be asked for consent.

However, Irwin said parents should start talking to their children about consenting to online content early on. She said that children between the ages of three and six are able to understand some basic standards of social media.

Irwin suggests that parents show their children what they want to post online and ask if they are okay with it. She adds that it is important to be “transparent” and explain to the child the reasons behind wanting to share such content publicly. Erwin said this is something she did with her children before posting pictures or videos of them on her social media.

“Kids need to understand their role in this,” she said.

As children enter school and become more media savvy, Irwin said it’s important for parents to “model” how to properly use social media.

“If we model the appropriate use, as well as the appropriate content that is shared, how we share and get consent to share things, I think that will help kids make it part of their best practice when they use social media,” he said.

Julie Romanowski, Early Years counselor and parenting coach at Miss Behavior, said parents should exercise “extreme caution and caution” when sharing their children’s content online.

Romanovsky told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview on Wednesday that the photos shared by parents will “100%” affect children as they grow.

“What happens in our childhood will have a profound effect on us and adults, good or bad, and what our parents choose – for themselves, for the family and for the children – will have a lasting effect,” she said.

Microsoft’s 2019 Internet Security Study found that 42% of 12,500 teens surveyed in 25 countries said they were concerned about the amount of “sharing” online from their parents, with 11% saying it was a “huge problem” in their lives as they grew up.

Depending on the type of content parents post about their children online, Romanowski said it could negatively impact their future prospects, such as attending college or getting a job. She said that a photo or video that a parent finds funny now, might not be funny to a potential employer 15 years later.

“There can be pictures that paint a completely different story than other stories, and the child has no control over that,” she said.

While privacy settings can help determine who sees this content, Romanovsky noted that there are always ways to get around it, like screenshots, and even when someone deletes something, she said. That doesn’t mean the content has been completely erased. from Internet.

“Once you’re there, you’re there…so use your judgment and be careful,” she said.

Romanovsky said that parents take “ultimate responsibility” for their children’s digital footprint — whether it’s big or small, or not at all — until they’re old enough to use social media for themselves.

“Most parents are proud of their children, which is why they post. But we have to keep in mind, what will a child look like when they grow up? In my experience, most parents don’t think that way.

“No matter what you publish… Have you thought: Will it have a positive or negative impact on my children and their future?”

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