How Much Should You Share Online When it Comes to Your Kids?

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Copyright © 2014-2015
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Posted June 25, 2014

We live in a “social world.”   Parents have many opportunities to disclose information about their children in social forums – by posting family news and photos on Facebook, tweeting your child’s latest accomplishments in sports, even launching a blog.

Social media can be a great tool for parents, but how do you know when you are sharing too much information about your kids?

This is largely a matter of personal choice, but it is important to be aware that the burden generally falls on parents to protect their children’s privacy.   As is often the case, it is easier to be proactive than reactive. 

Here are three very basic points to bear in mind before you share information about your child on social media.

1.  Think about your audience, and use privacy settings to your advantage.  The more sensitive the information, the fewer people you should share it with.  This is a rule that privacy and security professionals live by every day, and it applies to the household as well.  If you have questions about your social media settings, we are happy to help you navigate.  Just contact us here.

2. Don’t make it easy for criminals to prey on your child or steal his or her ID. By restricting your audience and the amount of information you disclose, you can help protect your child from criminals.  The more details a criminal knows about your child or family, the easier it is to gain the child’s trust. In addition, child identity theft is a serious problem that can go undetected for years. Criminals steal children’s IDs to open credit card accounts, obtain medical treatment, get a loan, and even to commit crimes. Often victims aren’t aware until they try to get a student loan or apply for a credit card years later.

While you aren’t likely to publicly post the most important information -- your child’s Social Security number (SSN), for example -- you might be targeted by scam artists who attempt to trick you into revealing your child’s SSN..  The Federal Trade Commission has helpful materials on child identity theft

3. Think about your child’s reputation down the road.  Would you want your child’s struggles with a learning disability, eating disorder, or anxiety posted online for anyone to see?  Do you want your child’s future employer, college officials, and acquaintances to have access to this information just by performing a simple search? These are just a few of the many reasons to think before you post!


If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.