1. Your metadata and copyright are not protected
Data recorded by smartphones, cameras and other devices, such as the location, date, time, and the type of device used, are automatically deleted upon upload to Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook also asks to tag the location and enter a description of the photograph.
This is a tactic for social media sites to encourage people to use them as their preferred way of storing photographs, through creating new metadata specific to the website.
It also whittles down your copyright claim on the content, which makes it easier for social media sites to use your photographs for other, revenue generating, purposes such as sponsored stories.
Facebook and Twitter, according to the legal jargon in the terms and conditions, basically retain the right to use your content and photos for any purposes they deem necessary – so you need to be very wary of your rights.
2. The ‘Save As’ and screenshot options on every computer are very dangerous tools
In 2012 it was reported in the Boston media that pictures of a number of local teenage girls, originally from their personal Facebook accounts, were re-posted on pornographic websites.
Unfortunately this is more common than we think. The ability to save and screenshot pictures is a simple tool available to all who have access to your account, meaning they can copy and store your family photographs if they so wish.
Today’s horrifying story about young Irish girl’s pictures being used on pornographic sites sees the problem reach Irish shores.
3. You can unwittingly identify your children
Your children can be exposed to people you don’t want to associate with – such as estranged family members, dangerous individuals/groups or those you may have conflicts with. There are numerous pathways into your social media feeds open to individuals who want to snoop or garner information on you (usually via shares or likes by your friends).
Consider, carefully, who will be seeing the post before posting details about your children’s whereabouts, movements or identifying features.
4. Young children cannot decide for themselves
Some decisions you have to make for your children but their privacy is not something you should treat lightly.
Your kids may come to resent you in later life for posting intimate family moments. Once you post something on Facebook it remains there forever, even if you delete your account.
The only way for it to disappear is if everyone who has interacted with the post also deletes their account. This is assuming it has not been saved as a file or screenshot by someone else and shared elsewhere.
You must consider that your child may want to start off their own social media journey when they get older and the trail of information you have left behind may not be appreciated by them.
5. Social media sites can be hacked
Facebook, Twitter and all social media sites are just as vulnerable to hacking as other websites.
You should regularly check who has accessed your account by checking your privacy settings and log-in details. Most websites will tell you when and where your account has been accessed from.
Make sure you use unique and hack-safe passwords to make your log-in as safe as possible.
6. Algorithms are more far-reaching than you think
You must be aware of websites’ ability to collate information and determine user’s circles on social media – Facebook in particular are extremely good at this.
What you may think is private or shared between a few friends may be circulating in much wider patterns then you believe.
Pictures of your children can be exposed to outsiders by the likes and shares of your well-intended friends, leaving you in little control of where they end up.
7. You are open to prosecution test cases
Posting pictures of your children naked in the bathtub might seem funny or cute to you, but legal experts are eagerly awaiting a test case where parents or guardians are subjected to the mercy of the law for sharing what could be deemed as illegal or indecent imagery.
8. You may expose your child to cyberbullying
Children and teenagers are becoming more and more internet savvy and most are more up-to-speed on the newest social media platforms than their adult counterparts.
Posting what you might think is a cute, funny or happy image of your child, may leave them exposed to cyberbullying by their peers or even people from further afield that they have never even met.
Cyberbullying is becoming an issue that is increasingly forcing governments to consider legislation due to how widespread it is.
9. Your personal info is vulnerable
Pictures of your house, what car you drive and personal information in your biog are particularly vulnerable to outside users who are fishing for information about your private life and movements.
You should avoid posting details of your address or whereabouts on Facebook.
10. Check your privacy settings regularly
If you still feel the need to post pictures of your children online to share with distant family members or friends, then you should be aware of your privacy settings and who can access the photos.
Read the terms and conditions of your social media accounts at regular intervals, they change often, and check how your profile appears to different users (this is an option setting on Facebook and can also be accessed on most social media sites).
SHARE this valuable information with your family and friends!