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Digital safety: 10 pictures of your child you should never post on social media and why

Dr Debarati Halder Dr Debarati Halder 5 Mins Read

Dr Debarati Halder Dr Debarati Halder


Written For ParentCircle Website new design update

Do you love sharing adorable pictures of your kid on the Internet? Be aware. Here is our guide to images you should never post on social media sites

Infant to 18+
Digital safety: 10 pictures of your child you should never post on social media and why

Recently, a friend of mine welcomed her bundle of joy into the world. The happy news reached me when I got to see her WhatsApp profile picture of the newborn cuddled in the mother's arm, with the proud father trying his level best to take an expert selfie of all three of them. Almost every second day, the profile pictures gave updates about the baby's development.

New-age parents love to show off their children's cute and cuddly pictures through their own social media profiles. Parents share these pictures as attachments to their texts, using digital messaging apps. Parents may even send such pictures for online 'Best Baby picture' competitions. Admittedly, we all enjoy viewing such pictures of private cuddling moments.

But, there is a dark side to the Internet that may endanger the privacy of both the child and the parents, and land them in deep trouble. Because cybercriminals use specific types of pictures of children for unethical gain. This is because some of these photographs may be consumed as sexually gratifying content for perverts. Such pictures may also be used to blackmail parents.

Let us consider the types of pictures which may invite unwanted trouble for the child as well as the parents:

1. Baby breastfeeding photos: Although breastfeeding is encouraged for building immunity and better health for the baby, one should never consider posting such photographs in personal albums on social media, where everyone can see it. This may trigger unwanted comments about the mother as well as the baby. Not to forget, such pictures may also be used as mashed-up video materials for the porn industry.

2. Nude baby pictures: Babies look adorable in their chubby little selves. Many parents love to post their babies' photos while giving a bath or lying naked or in a crawling pose. Not to forget, perverts may consume such photographs as child- porn materials. This is a hard reality we need to consider, especially when we get to hear so many cases of infants as young as three to four months being sexually assaulted.

3. Up-skirt photos: When children play outdoors, they love to ride high beams, play on swings, slides, and of course, the jungle gym or monkey bars. This gives enough opportunity to expose their innerwear and their thighs. Parents must be careful - do not post pictures that expose their child's body. Photos of babies with their innerwear covering the private parts, thighs, and hips may be used as child porn material. Not to forget, such pictures can be doctored to present obscene and ugly online content.

4. Puberty function photos: In several parts of India, especially in the South, puberty functions are celebrated with pomp and gaiety. Often, the young girl is photographed from awkward several angles. Odd pictures are often taken by a young cousin or sibling who is not aware of how to handle a camera properly. In such situations, it is the duty of parents to protect the girl from unwanted exposure to cameras. Such pictures may instantly be circulated to unwanted people and may also be consumed as sexually gratifying content.

5. Bathing pictures of children: Whether a young child or a mature teen, one should never post pictures of children in wet clothes or bathing situations. I have a friend who is the mother of a little star swimmer. Learn from her: if at all you need to post pictures of your child, wrap them in a towel or put his/her jacket on before clicking pics of the little champ with his medals.

6. Trial room pictures: It is but obvious that a parent accompanies a young teen or tween to the changing room to help try on her chosen attire. Do not click while she is changing or in her innerwear. Posting such pictures may actually put the child in danger.

7. Sleeping pictures of babies and children: Young children look heavenly when they are asleep. But they definitely would not look heavenly if their sleeping pictures are doctored and changed into compromising positions. Parents, therefore, must not post pictures in sleeping positions.

8. Babies in their potty chair: New parents love to capture every moment of their babies. But hold on: posting pictures of babies in the potty chair, passing stool, or getting dirty should always be avoided. Remember, your child will also grow up and will become a netizen in some time. He will be subjected to humiliation and bullying if the friends get to see such pictures.

9. Photos of nude boys: Remember the famous pose of Ranbir Kapoor in the movie Saawariya where his towel dropped from his waist? While many of us may have enjoyed the film, this particular scene was criticized by some as being obscene. Young boys, just like their female counterparts, are equally vulnerable to a sexual offense if their pictures in the nude surface on the Internet.

10. Self-conscious teens: Never force your awkward and self-conscious teen to be the subject of your album. Teenagers are well aware of the dangers of the Internet and feel reluctant to be photographed and shown off through their parent's albums. Respect your child's privacy.

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