Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby Pictures on the Internet

You may have noticed that I do not post pictures of my son online and you may be asking yourself why? Am I not proud to show him off?  Is there something wrong with him? Am I ashamed?  The answers to all of those questions is NO.  I love my son and I am proud of him and he is the most beautiful baby toddler boy you will ever meet.  However, as we sat in labor and delivery 14 months ago my husband and I had a talk.  Do we post a picture of him on Facebook as soon as he is born? The answer we both agreed upon was No.

In 2010 Internet security firm AVG conducted a study that estimates that 92% of children under the of 2 have an online presence.  YIKES! Think about that, these kids are plastered all over the internet before they can have a say in what is on the world wide web about them and when things are on the internet and you try to delete it there is no guarantee that it is ever completely gone.

Yes I do realize that I blog about my son.  I do try and limit the types of details I put out there about him.  And yes, I do post a picture here and there, but the pictures I post for public consumption never include his face to try and somewhat lessen his digital footprint my husband and I may have created for him.  Can you imagine kids of this generation going out for a job interview and having 18+ years of pictures they never consented to all over the internet?!  I mean really? That could be THOUSANDS of pictures, status updates and Tweets. Don't we owe it to our children to let them be in charge of what is put out on the internet about them?

I know most people feel completely at ease posting things abut their kids online, but I came across an article on PBS Parents where they outline some guidelines for what you post about your kids online.  Here it is:

5 Tips for Keeping Kids Safe

If you do choose to blog or post photos of your children online, remember to follow these guidelines:
  1. Take advantage of privacy settings. By using the privacy settings offered on Facebook or other social media sites, you decrease the chances that online predators can view photos you post for family and friends, says Vivian Shic, spokesperson for Trend Micro, an Internet security firm.
  2. Protect your child from identity theft. “A thief could piece together what might appear to be random bits of disparate information and use it to impersonate your child—opening bank accounts, taking out loans, even committing crimes—all in the child's name,” says Jacqueline Beauchere, a director with Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group.
  3. Don't give strangers an "in" with your child. Beauchere advises against posting other kinds of information that could put your child at risk. “This includes not only facts … but also photos and feelings,” she says. “An appearance of vulnerability—sadness, loneliness or anger—could invite unwanted contact from strangers.”
  4. Be judicious about the photos you post online. “Consider that cameras made after a certain year tag the photos with an identifier that tells you the location the photo was taken,” notes Shic.
  5. Choose hack-proof passwords. Elizabeth Stanula, spokesperson for Geek Squad Agents, warns not to use personal information like birthdays or children’s names in your passwords. Nor should you use complete words, she says: “One of the most basic hacker tactics is known as a ‘dictionary attack,’ where an automated program will attempt the words of the dictionary.”
The PBS article in its entirety can be found here: http://www.pbs.org/parents/childrenandmedia/article-revealing-too-much-about-kids-online.html

By no means do I think that I will never post a picture of my son on the internet (face and all), but at this point in time I'm fine with not doing so.  People who know my family and I know that if they want to see a picture of our son they can text us or email us and we will gladly send them one.   We do realize that some things we cannot control and that he may 'accidentally' end up online via someone's Facebook pictures or being caught in the background but as of right now people have respected our wishes and kept our son's pictures off of the internet. 


  1. Hi Tracy, I am visiting from Bloggy Moms. I am now following you via GFC and Twitter. I would love to have you visit and follow back. Look forward to getting to know you.
    Marcie @ www.IGottaTryThat.com

  2. I had the same concerns...I did not even want to mention my kids names....then I was told and shown that privacy is so 80's...I think, unfortunately that is true!!! but we all have to do whatever we are comfortable with..
    I am your newest follower from bloggy moms...pls follow back if you can.

  3. I don't use real names on the internet and no photos of any of my family :) My husband and I are both very paranoid about privacy. All of my family is respectful too and the kids don't have any photos online that we know of. Great post! I found you on bloggy moms and following you on GFC now. I look forward to your future posts :)


  4. What a great post! You have really spoken my thoughts. I talk about our toddler but I haven't posted any pics of him on my blog and don't really intend to.

    I'm a working mom too!

    Am visiting from Bloggy Moms and am another new follower.



  5. Hi! Found you via mommy blogs!
    I'm following now!
    Good things to think about. Thanks!
    Hope you can follow in return at http://ccmcafee.blogspot.com/

  6. Hello,

    I found you through Bloggy Moms, and I must say I love this post. I completely agree with your decision to not post pictures or too many details about your son here. I decided to do the same thing years ago. Now, if there is a photo of my kids that I want to post, I ask them. I have a 13 year old son and an 11 year old daughter, but I've been asking them since I started blogging 7 years ago. Because as you say, anything posted on the Internet will be on the Internet forever. I know enough about how the servers and technology behind the web works to know that once posted, it is nigh impossible to erase.

    Thank you for your eloquence. I look forward to reading more of your posts.



  7. These are all valid points. I struggled about not posting pictures of my son but then one led to quite a few. And now I can't stop LOL! When I feel proud I want to share with the world. Although security is an issue we are in a different time where sharing is just apart of the culture. Especially when it comes to blogging....there is a certain level of relate-ability and openness that is appreciated. The key, I think is being selective, tasteful, and moderate. However, I am considering no facial pictures once he turns one on the blog. I do believe that it isn't fair to plaster a catalog pictures for years to come without their consent. So in a way, I feel guilt underneath all the pride that make me post my own pictures.

    By the way, I love the font you choose for your blog.... So clean and easy to read. ;-) Thanks for the follow! I am looking forward to your future posts!

  8. I've thought about this before. Both my kids have tons of pictures on facebook already (some from my Hunnie & I, and some from other family members). Since most of our friends and family live far away, it is the easy/most efficient way for me to keep those who want to be updated and feel connected to our Lil' Family up to date. (and also not bomboard those who don't care with emails/texts/etc) I make sure that my settings are private, but even then who knows.. I should look into the settings of the ones other people have posted. I respect you and your husband's decision to do this. This world we live in can be a scary place, and bad people DO exist. We should do anything we can to protect our children, in every way! I will be reviewing my settings AGAIN, today and checking for possible "random bits of disparate information". Thanks again!

    ~Heather Rebekkah =)