EXACTLY Why I Don’t Post Pictures of My Kids Online

I am rarely questioned on why I don’t share full-face pictures of my children on my blog – until very recently my husband was a police officer and people (and I hope all of you) understand that because of this we take a few extra precautions.

What many of you (and my friends and family) don’t understand is why we take that to the extreme and don’t post pictures on our personal Facebook site or on any private photo sharing sites or even on a private You Tube account.

What the school doesn’t understand is why I refuse to sign the form that allows my child’s “image” to be used on the school website.

But I’ll tell you – it’s because of this.

Most people share pictures online without ever even considering what “bad” people may do with them.  Unfortunately, my husband knows all to well what that cute little bare-bum picture of Sweet Pea in the kitchen sink could be used for if a certain type of person found it online.

It could be used by this certain type of person for personal pleasure.  Or worse.

The “worse” is when that “bad” person starts sharing those images with the other “bad” people they know then one (or more) of them becomes fixated with your child’s image and starts to look for them.  Obsessing over them.  They don’t even need to know your child’s name.

Which is precisely why we will never allow the school or daycare to post images of our children online – you are essentially telling predators where your child is every single day for years!

So why not Facebook?

As my husband says, you are not just sharing with your “friends” you’re sharing with all of their “friends” too and do you know who every single one of those people are?  Do you know what they will do with those photos?

Of course, we take EXTREME cautions.  Mostly because of my husband’s job and because of all the things he “knows” that most law abiding citizens would never even consider.

Trust me, if my husband wasn’t a cop I would have posted pictures of my children all over these pages without ever giving it a second thought.  And there are definitely moments where I wish I could share with you just how cute my kids really are.

But then something like this happens and you can’t help but wonder – who really is looking at those photos.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t post pictures of your children online.  I likely would if my husband hadn’t arrested some fairly scary people in his cop-lifetime.

BUT I am asking you to THINK first and CONSIDER the pictures you are posting online.

That cute little bare-bum picture could be so much more than “cute” to someone hundreds of miles away or even to your next door neighbour.

You don’t want to be that mom who discovered her diaper-clad child dancing on YouTube attracts attention from 3,000 people she does not consider friends or family because she will forever have to wonder who is looking at her child’s image and what they are using it for.

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Comments

  1. My husband and I don’t post any pictures of our children online. Anywhere. When I started my blog, it was anonymous. I’ve since added my name (for various reasons), but I still don’t use anyone else’s name there and I use nicknames for my daughters and don’t post face pictures there. We also don’t post pictures to FB, though I have some awfully cute pictures I’d love to share. As you say, however, once they are posted, we can’t control who sees them. Friends of friends of friends have commented on other status updates I’ve posted – people I don’t know at all. The friends of my friends are probably great people, but I don’t know. So like you, I figure better safe than sorry.

  2. I talk regularly on the subject of Internet Safety, so I felt like I had to comment. You certainly shouldn’t post naked (or half-naked) pictures of your children online, but not even because it could end up linked to a porn site. You shouldn’t do it because it’s disrespectful to your children (and has some legal grey areas that could be a problem). Those pictures will be there when they hit middle school, move on to college, look for a job, and/or run for public office. Beyond that, it’s important to keep some perspective. Unless you walk around with your child in a mask, people will see your child and may even take pictures of them. Keeping them offline doesn’t change that fact. If you’re in a high-risk situation, as you are, it makes sense to be extra cautious, but this sort of thing makes people panic over a risk that isn’t all that great. It’s like posting pictures of your kids on the school website. It’s no surprise to anyone that there are kids at a school. It’s not even surprising that there are cute kids at a school. And while there may be predators trolling school websites to find a specific child, the statistics show that this is barely a risk (if it’s a risk at all).

    I have looked at the statistics and have made the choice to post pictures of my kids without their names attached. You can probably find their names if you’re desperate to do so, but since most crimes against children are crimes of opportunity, I’m not all that worried about someone bothering. I don’t post their names largely so they can’t be found as easily by search as they grow older. I’d like their online profiles to belong to them.

    It makes sense to be cautious, but it doesn’t make sense to panic (or to cause others to panic).

  3. Thanks for highlighting this important topic about privacy and the right to fight for protecting our children. Some people just don’t think about the fact that a published photo, or an image posted online is open season for many people to see, share, and misuse. Almost every week I open my local newspaper to see children being celebrated for various awards and for participating in community events. Which is great…. but they include photos, full names, and the name of the school they attend. This makes me boil with anger! They may as well be waving a big WELCOME sign for every perv in town to come and prey on these children.

  4. I ask my 16 year old if I can upload photos of him. We had no problem that we knew of for years, until someone listed as a cocaine waiter stole photos of Kev off my blog and posted them in a forum, saying that those photos were of HIM.

    You can fix your settings on Facebook so that friends of friends can’t comment on your stuff. In our case, we complained to the forum admin and they had the photos removed. If he were young, I’d never want photos of him (especially naked or nearly so) anywhere on line.

  5. Well, as the one who questioned in the previous post why not on facebook I feel obliged to comment now eh? lol! And ugggg. I know there are sickos out there … so sad when I even try to shield my kids from running around outside in bathing suits on hot summer days – in our own backyard! I would be horrified if their image showed up on ‘those’ sites, and the stranger-privacy-invasion is a big part of why I have been reluctant to post any video to youtube and had zero issue with me not having the 2 year old singing Adele on a viral video … even tho my toddler kicks a$$ at that song, if I do say so myself ;)

    . I selectively check the “image shown” at group outings etc. – March Break camp was a yes, swim classes a no. My real last name is so rare if used it could be traced to my hometown in a heartbeat- unlisted phone number and all. So in vast majority of cases I allow no name or only first name. But … but but but. There is the pride my eldest had when her picture was in the paper. The joy I get from showing them off online to my family and friends via facebook photos ( knowing my privacy settings re as high as can possibly be set), knowing otherwise the pictures would never be seen. And the conflict I feel from not wanting my kids images to ever be abused vs. not wanting the sick and twisted minds of strangers to stop us from enjoying life.

    I completely understand re: your husbands job (my occupation certainly carries it’s own baggage that I don’t take lightly!) and the blog, a site uncontrolled for who can view. For me, I will keep sharing my pictures on facebook for now, but I am very cautious and have no problem switching to a more private if more complicated photo sharing format if needs be. I just hate to think that doing so is letting the bastards win though! Shouldn’t parenting and capturing and sharing our children’s lives be easier?? *le sigh*

    • Kande – I’m glad you asked the why. It realized that I needed to write this post, especially after the whole diaper YouTube video. I don’t think there is a “best solution” for this type of problem but I do think that we should have the conversation.

      Thanks as always for your FABULOUS insight!

  6. karaokegirl says:

    I don’t do Facebook or other social media sharing. My friends think I’m some sort of troglodyte but I just do not want my family info out there for the world. I never use my name on postings either. As you say, you never know what people out there will do with it. My 12 year old daughter thinks we’re some sort of monster for not allowing her to have Facebook or a smart phone. If she doesn’t have them, she can’t post pics or other info that shouldn’t be out there. Our kids are our most precious commodity and we need to remember that every single day and treat them as such.

  7. I was afraid to look at what ‘this’ was. Its so scary. Who knows where our pictures are and where they’re flying and landing. I think you’re right to do what you’re comfortable with, even though everyone would love to see pics of your kiddies.

  8. That’s a lot of scary food for thought, friend.

  9. I just stumbled on your blog & stayed for a while. I. LOVE. THIS!! I have a personal private blog for my children that I only allow by invite only but in all honestly I don’t know that someone isn’t logging in and showing all their friends. It freaks me out in a way that I can’t even explain. I too am not posting pics of my kids on my blog. I like your idea of non-face shots. That’s a great idea. I’d love to highlight your post on my blog if you wouldn’t mind. It’s so important for people to understand that once it’s out there it’s out there. Kudos to you for being an awesome mommy!!!

    • Hi Kelly! Thanks for stopping by and thank you also for the compliments :) Feel free to link back to anything you find on these pages – thanks for asking! Look forward to seeing here again soon.

      Maija

  10. Kimberly Stinson says:

    We have been dealing with this issues ourself this week. My husband works in a state penitentiary. Just last week we had been informed that his picture was on our church web site and facebook. We have asked and asked for them to please not to take any pictures of us our children and now our grandson and post them anywhere! I feel so violated. I mean if I can’t feel safe at my own place of worship why would parents feel safe in bringing there own children to our church. I have spoken to our Sr. Pastors and those that I know who are taking the picture and they just don’t get it. Now my husband has to deal with the Warden. This could been my husband job and those that posted the picture just think we are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  11. That’s disturbing. Virtual world could be very dangerous. There’s nothing wrong about thinking about the safety of your kids.

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