Your child's first birthday, last school year, family vacations... As a parent, it's great to share your children's latest news and achievements on social networks.
Unfortunately, these publications carry risks for your child that are often unsuspected. This personal information, photos and videos could damage your child's reputation in the future, or be used by malicious individuals for child pornography or identity theft.
A child's virtual identity
Children's privacy and reputation
Future use of personal information
As a parent, there are ways to limit the risks you expose your child to when you post about him or her on social networks. Here are just a few of them:
- Before posting a publication, it's a good idea to evaluate its content and ask yourself a few questions :
- Why are you sharing this publication?
- Would you want someone to publish something similar about you?
- Could your child be embarrassed by this publication, now or in the future?
- Is there anyone in the world who shouldn't see this publication about your child, now or in the future?
- Do you want this publication to become part of your child's virtual identity?
- Limit the number of posts you make on social networks about your child.
- Avoid any publication that could reveal your child's personal information: name, date of birth, address, school name, health information, habits or that could be used to answer security questions.
- Avoid any publications showing your child in embarrassing situations.
- Avoid any publication containing photographs of your child with partial or full nudity.
- Ask your child for his or her consent before publishing about him or her, when he or she is able to understand what you are doing or has reached the age of 7.
- If your child is older, mention that you've made publications about him or her and show them to him or her.
- If your child requests it, remove the content you've published about him or her.
- Find out about the privacy settings of social networks:
- Make sure your account is "private" and does not appear on search engines such as Google.
- Also make sure that only the people you authorize have access to the content you publish.
- For more information on privacy settings for social networks: Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, YouTube.
- Remain vigilant about what you publish about your child in "private" groups on social networks (mainly Facebook):
- Make sure the group is "private", i.e. only people you authorize can join.
- Make sure the group is "secret", i.e. only members with access can find it.
- Keep in mind that members of a group can copy, save and re-share the information you publish there.
This project was funded by :
THE OFFICE OF THE PRIVACY COMMISSIONER OF CANADA
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the OPC.
Video production: Wolfgang Animation