Yay, the kids are headed back to school. No more snacking uncontrollably, drinking all the juice or toys all over the house. Let’s pause the excitement for a bit and have a quick heart to heart. The lack of concerns about child social media safety really grinds my gears. Y’all, nothing annoys me more than seeing parents carelessly share personal information at back to school time. I know we’re excited but we still have to think. Child trafficking/kidnapping is real and I’d hate to hear that someone I’m connected to in life or online has been a victim.
Social media had desensitized us to what a stranger really is. We keep up with each other day to day, so we truly feel like we know each other. People have literally watched my children grow up, and they feel like they’re part of our family. The scary truth is that we really don’t know what goes with other people on once we log off our social accounts. Especially when you openly share your life on social media like I do. There is a way to be public and still maintain a sense of privacy.
Here are a few tips to make sure you’re not giving away too much information in the midst of your first day of school excitement:
When you upload pictures to Facebook, most times it will automatically add the location for you. Turn off the automated geo-tagging feature so that you don’t accidentally post it. Skip mentioning the name in the caption too, search engines are smart and they will be able to pick up all of that information if it’s populated. We know where elementary school starts and ends, telling us what grade they are going to is more than enough information.
Beyond child social media safety, let’s just stop get-tagging and checking into places while we are there all together. Especially if you have you children with you. At best check in after you’re gone, safety should always be the priority.
We all love those cute little first day of signs from Etsy right? They have their name, age, grade, school name, teacher name, favorite color, food and basically the answer to almost any internet security question you can think of right? You freaked out yet? LOL! Either blur the sign completely or only send those pictures to immediate family. Additionally, if your child wears uniforms with an identifiable school crest either position them to where it won’t show in the photo or blur that too. Along with making sure that any easily identifiable land marks are not in the photo as well.
And since we are here, please stop putting their names all over the clothes, pack backs and lunch boxes.. Did you know that when a stranger know’s your child’s names, your child is more likely to trust them? Yea, cut it out!
I believe both IG and Facebook now have the option to create a custom friends list. So get to selecting your VIPs and only share the photos with them; just keep in mind that nothing is fool or should I say glitch proof. There is always the option of a good old fashioned group text with your family… but don’t forget to ask them not to post online. As much as I share online day to day there are still pictures that I don’t want on the internet. My sisters and parents in-love get picture happy with my kids and I have to tell them if there is a certain pic I don’t want on the internet. Gotta love family but this leads me to my last point…
This is one of the most important child social media safety tips for me. Just because I share my kids online doesn’t mean that you can! *insert claps between every word*…because I mean every word of this. My kids are my business and other folks kids are their business. Always ask; don’t assume you have permission to share anything involving a child. If you must share, crop the picture or at least cover their sweet faces with an emoji.
That concludes my PSA about being safe with our babies in these internet streets. I live a fine line between loving everyone I encounter and thinking everyone is a serial killer. Blame it on my watching to much of the Investigation Discovery channel, but finding balance between being both public and private is a daily struggle for me when it comes to my family. So, I just wanted to be a voice of reason.
Tell a friend to tell a friend and if you see someone doing something mentioned above, please correct them, with love.
In other news, we survived summer break. Happy Back to School!