Dear Savvy Cyber Kids,

I have a young toddler, and of course family and friends around the world. I post pictures of them on my private Instagram account, sometimes putting one on Facebook but not as often (and the audience is always my friend list but I know that means nothing), sometimes I use hashtags.

Should I stop posting facial pics (where you can see his entire face)? I get push-back from family members, but this is my kid! I’m smart enough to not post bathtime, bedtime, or other pics which might be embarrassing later on.

What should I be on the lookout for? What should I change?

Thank you so much for your inquiry!

The privacy of your child is of utmost importance to you as you have already decided the types of pictures to post and those not to post (based on potential future implications). Based on the technological advances in society today, our faces and that of our children, are always being recorded on cameras (whether they be in public areas, inside buildings or homes). Because of that, our face pictures and videos can already be considered to be in the public domain. But what you are really trying to do is NOT make your child a target for a child predator. So making sure you limit who can see your pictures is a great start (which you are already doing through private accounts). Can someone share your child’s photo beyond your post? Of course, but that is just a risk all users of social media must accept.

I do think you could consider not using hashtags on your child’s posts. You did not mention this but I would also refrain from tagging your child’s pictures with other people’s accounts (parent, grandparents, etc.). By not tagging with other people’s profiles and using hashtags, you save yourself (and your child) from future lapses in security or privacy changes a social media company may make.

As a parent, you know the ultimate decisions on how to raise your child are up to you. As your child comes of age, read them our children’s picture book series, The Savvy Cyber Kids at Home, to start teaching them the most important cyber safety and privacy lessons before they go online:

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