Social media: friend or foe?

Social media: friend or foe?

One of my biggest fears for my child is online exploitation. A lot of parents aren’t fully aware of the real dangers of online child exploitation unless they have been personally affected by it. I know that sometimes people have the mind set that it’s better to remain blissfully ignorant so you don’t have to deal with these horrible things, but I honestly believe this isn’t one of those things you be ignorant about. We owe it to our children to be as knowledgeable about this subject as possible in order to protect them as best we can.

 

Babies of social media.

I completely understand why people put their children’s pictures up on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. They’re super proud of their beautiful little angels and all those gorgeous smiles and milestones they are reaching. However, every picture uploaded to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter account and any other internet site, makes it possible for monsters to gain access to images of your precious babies.

Lets face it, how many of us know the ins and outs of all our Facebook friends? These monsters are so devious their own families wont know the sick things they’re into. Therefore, it’s safe to say that you don’t know Frank (who you were in science with for one term twenty years ago) well enough to be sharing photos of your children with him. (Just saying!)

 I know this is an extremely pessimistic view to have of the world, but at the end of the day I would rather be pessimistic and keep my child safe, than optimistic and uninformed. It would break my heart to find out that someone I don’t know anything about had access to the super cute photos of my baby at the swimming baths, or on holiday innocently playing in the pool because I posted them on my Facebook account! Don’t get me wrong, my Facebook security settings are the highest they can be, but is there anything to stop my friend’s nan from sharing my photos because she thinks they’re cute, and I don’t know the Facebook security settings of all my friends!

 I see millions of pictures on Facebook, and I love seeing my friends little ones growing up. I am not a “judgy” person, and am not judging people who want to show off their gorgeous poppets to the world. However, I do think parents who do post photos of their children should educate themselves thoroughly on the risks. You are the ones responsible for other people having access to images of your children on the World Wide Web.

Consider the question…. If you left it until your child was old enough to have their own social media accounts and you ask them if they want baby photos of themselves posted on it, how many of them would say yes?

 PLEASE take the time to educate yourselves, for the safety of your children and your own peace of mind! A lot of really useful information is available at the CEOP website https://www.ceop.police.uk/safetycentre/ .

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