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Experts in Australia caution that sharing pregnancy photos online can create a digital footprint for your child, which could be exploited. Once a child’s image is online, they become vulnerable to identity theft or unauthorized sharing. Parents should be mindful of the content they post about their children, as it shapes their digital identity.

Online postings shape the digital footprint of child

Many guardians remain oblivious to the fact that their online postings, including photographs or distinctive details like school uniforms, contribute to shaping a digital footprint for their offspring. Even the act of sharing updates regarding pregnancy or the imminent arrival of a child inadvertently discloses identifying information. Dr. Valeska Berg from Edith Cowan University highlights that this practice establishes a digital presence for the child even before their birth.

Dr Berg says that many individuals often assume that sharing exclusively with their acquaintances on platforms such as Facebook is inherently safe. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to recognize that our social networks may encompass contacts with whom we have only surface-level familiarity. Thus, Berg advocates for utilizing private messaging services like Messenger, WhatsApp, Signal, and similar alternatives. This approach offers significantly enhanced safety compared to public sharing,” Dr. Berg elaborates.

Obscure children’s photos on social media for safety

The author highlights the necessity of establishing secure networks on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to safeguard children’s images. Simply setting profiles to private is inadequate protection. Dr. Berg suggests obscuring children’s faces in photos and refraining from sharing identifying information about them. This precautionary measure aims to maintain anonymity and minimize potential risks associated with online exposure.

Researchers additionally observes that the establishment of digital identities for children in their formative years, devoid of their active participation, deprives them of the autonomy to shape their own digital presence, consequently silencing their voices and restricting their choices.

Whenever feasible, it is imperative to engage children in the formation of their digital identities. Dr Berge emphasizes the need for research to elucidate methods facilitating such involvement and to amplify the voices of young children, fostering a deeper comprehension of this swiftly evolving domain.