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Parental posts could become a kid’s forever digital footprint (Sharent)

Parents, grandparents, and doting aunts can’t wait to share details about their little ones or to post super cute videos of their antics on social media.

What they don’t realize is that what they post today is likely to become the child’s digital footprint for life.

For the past several years, attorney and professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Stacey Steinberg, has been researching how online information can follow a child well into adulthood.

The author of Growing Up Shared: How Parents Can Share Smarter on Social Media and What You Can Do to Keep Your Family Safe in a No-Privacy World she advises parents and others to think twice before any information about their kids’ online.

“I think my research really shows the number one thing parents need to be concerned about the way information (they post) could be used down the road in ways that we haven’t even thought of yet,” she pointed out. “I think my research (also) really shows the number one thing parents need to consider is how their kids will feel about the information being shared.”

Steinberg says that even seemingly innocent posts about temper tantrums or potty training can be embarrassing for kids as they grow older. Other posts involving the way the child uses money can affect their credit down the road.

Finally, even a seemingly innocent post containing a birth announcement has the potential to be used in identity fraud.

According the investment bank Barclay , by 2030, information from so-called” Sharenting” will account for two-thirds of identity fraud affecting young people.

That’s because a simple birth announcement post often contains full names, birth dates and parents’ names making social media a gold mine for identity thieves, Steinberg said.

So, what ought parent’s do?

Steinberg advises parents to use privacy settings, but to understand that they only go so far to protect themselves and their kids.

Instead, she recommends that parents and others think twice before making posts that feature their kids.

“I think it is important that parents only share what they would be comfortable sharing with a large audience, even if they are sharing with a smaller group on social media,” Steinberg said.

Here’s that else she recommends –

Avoid posting any photos that show a child in any state of undress, including bath time photos.

Never use ta child’s full name.

Review and update privacy settings.

Go through old posts and consider deleting some of them.

Finally, as kids get older, talk with them before you post and give them the option to tell you they do not want the information/picture shared online.

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