Tips and tools to share photos of your kids safely

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If you are a parent you would have likely put up photos of your children and gotten plenty of likes and comments. 

And I get it.

When we were that age, our parents had also taken photos of us in that goofy one piece suit, put them in albums and showed them to friends and family where everyone ooh-ed and ahh-ed about how cute we looked.

However, there was a huge difference: those physical photos had a fraction of the shareability of today’s online photos.

The dangers of sharenting

The data regarding sharing of photos and videos on social media is sobering.

safety for children

An innocuous photo shared on social media can have far-reaching consequences.

For example, one blogger posted a potty training photo of her young twins . These photos were downloaded, altered and made their way to a site known to attract pedophiles.

There is an online store which legally bought photos of kids from Flickr as an experiment, slapped them on coffee mugs, and sold them to complete strangers.

Any photo you post on sites like Facebook and Instagram is theirs to use in whatever way they see fit: check out one of the clauses of  Instagram’s child friendly privacy policy

Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post, but we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that.

For next level ugly, check out this comment on Reddit:

child safety products

Apart from these extreme cases, putting your child’s photo and other personal details out means giving social networks the opportunity to build their digital profile without their consent.

It gives Facebook the right to target products and services, causes problems like bullying in schools and worse, and puts your kids under the harsh glare of public attention.

How to share photos safely

With a mix of common sense ground rules, tightened privacy settings, and special apps you can share everything your kids are doing without exposing them to the internet at large.

Here are some tips and tools.

1. Set boundaries on sharing

Make it clear to everyone that you would appreciate if they didn’t share photos of your kids because of privacy reasons. If needed, explain how on the Internet everything is forever and make them aware of the dangers of out of control sharing. Most people will understand.

2. Use Notabli

Notabli is designed to let parents and family member share baby photos on a private network without any outsiders looking in. You can also share videos, notes, quotes etc, and print photos automatically. Notabli doesn’t own your photos and it’s an advertiser free network.

3. Try Tinybeans, the baby journal

Tinybeans is a mobile app that’s also a lot similar to Notabli. This private app lets you update your family and friends with your baby’s progress, marks milestones (like date of first laugh) and also sends regular tips on parenting, while also giving you multiple privacy options for photosharing. It’s also available as a mobile app.

It’s also available as a mobile app.

4. Create a secret group on Facebook

On a secret group, you can control sharing options, and make it so that no content from inside that group gets shared outside. This option gives the most restrictive sharing option and is ideal for parents wanting to share photos and videos of kids inside Facebook.

Members of the group can share photos and videos they have taken, but make some ground rules, like no sharing of photos of bath time.

5. Use Cluster

Cluster has been around for a long time, and it’s one of the most stable apps for private photo sharing.  It’s got all the goodies you would come to expect from a private sharing app, and works on both mobile and desktop.

You can add people to multiple groups, restrict access to photos, and more.

kids safety device


Parents will need to balance between the ease and ubiquity of Facebook and the specialized features and adoption barriers of standalone apps like Cluster or Notabli. However it’s a good practiec to be aware that any photo which goes on the Internet, no matter how secure the settings are can be leaked.

So, proceed with caution all the same as you share the journey your kids embark upon with your loved ones.

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