I have a few thoughts regarding posting pictures of your children on the Internet. Although it may seem harmless at first, we need to look at the bigger picture.
You’ve heard of temporary internet files located on your computer. These files are cached images, downloaded by your browser for quicker viewing when you revisit that page. The content can range from icons, background images to photographs.
Now picture yourself (sorry for the pun) viewing someone’s photo album on their Blog, Facebook or MySpace. As you browse through that person’s photographs, your computer has downloaded these images and saved them onto your hard drive. While this seems perfectly harmless, pretend these images are of your family and children. Every person that views these images now has a copy. Furthermore, Google Images has most likely “crawled” your site, thus caching these images.
Now before you feel the need to freak out about this concept, there are a few precautions you can take when putting photos of your family and children online.
- Think twice before you do. Ask yourself, “Do I really want this picture online?”
- Check to see if the photograph reveals your home, child’s school or location where they can be contacted. If it does, do not upload this photograph.
- Does the image include GPS coordinates? Most mobile devices will embed this location into the photograph. If it does, do not upload this photograph unless you strip out the GPS metadata. Facebook and some other sites do this automatically.
- Consider resizing the photograph to a smaller size, so detail isn’t as high.
- Don’t name the file “Jenny at the beach.jpg” Consider an obfuscated or random type identifier in the filename, such as “j23abc001.jpg” And under any circumstances, do not put your child’s name in the filename.
The bottom line is really, think twice, and consider the consequences. Many parents want to share the images with their family, friends and relatives. The bottom line is really, think twice, and consider the consequences. (yes we said that twice for emphasis) Some sites have privacy settings and passwords you can set before someone can gain access. Consider those options.
ZooBuh has many resources available from parents to teachers that can help with questions you have.