Saturday, June 15 2024

The most essential fact to keep in mind is that on social networks,
especially on Facebook, we are not only dealing with friends and
acquaintances. In fact, it often happens that we interact with people that
we do not know, and that may not always have good intentions.

As parents, we live our relationships with our children with intensity and
great pride. This attitude also influences our use of social networks. Our
Facebook pages, for example, are so often dedicated to praising the beauty,
skills, and activities of our young ones, wether they be children or
grandchildren.

Nevertheless, publishing every kind of information about our
children–facts, videos, and pictures–can be very dangerous, since we
cannot know with certainty who will be looking at them, and for what they
could use them. For this reason, I suggest 10 small, common-sense rules to
take into account before publishing images of our children and
grandchildren on social networks:

1. Never show pictures of the places, such as parks and gardens, that your
child often visits. This could offer the ill-intentioned valuable
information on where to find him.

2. Avoid publishing images where your child appears close to a car with a
visible license plate.

3. Good sense requires, always and in every case, avoiding giving your
child’s first and last name and age. Profile information should also avoid
reporting this data.

4. Never publish information related to young ones’ activities and
schedules. For example: “Dance lesson today at 5 at Elegant Studios.”

5. Please avoid sentimental comments. Let me explain: if a loved one is
traveling, don’t publish nostalgic thoughts such as, “We just left each
other but I already miss you! Luckily we will see each other Saturday.”
This is like telling the ill-intentioned: “Please come forward! I am alone
until Saturday!”

6. Now that smartphones can pinpoint the location where our pictures are
taken, it is advisable to disactivate this function in order to avoid
giving detailed information to strange and curious people.

7. Do not ever publish pictures in which your child is wearing the logo or
uniform of the school where he studies, and least of all photos where a
minor is dressed in underclothes or bathing suits.

8. Ask relatives and friends not to share information about your children
with others.

9. Keep firmly in mind that once information is made public, it is
impossible to delete it.

10. Before publishing anything, ask yourself this question: Do I have the
right, or at least, is it responsible, to publish information about my
children or grandchildren without their consent? Would we like it if
someone published information about our lives on the web?

Without becoming paranoid or sounding false alarms, we should reasonably
take into account that, unfortunately, people with bad intentions abound on
the internet. In so many cases they take advantage of our innocence and
naivety. This is why we must be very diligent when we show our loved ones
on the web.

At this point, I think we can add one final, eleventh rule: just as we take
great care of our children in the real world, we must be just as cautious
and considerate in the virtual world.

Note: This article was first published on the website ElTiempo.com and was later
republished on LaFamilia.info. We
are publishing it now with the kind permission of its author.

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