Now that I've discussed the ins and outs of sharing your baby's photos online, I wanted to share a few tips on keeping photos private (that is, if your intention is to keep them private!).
- I loved this article about security and your technology, the best take away from it was from security blogger Graham Cluley, whom stated, "Don't call it 'the cloud.' Call it someone else's computer." We seem to think that if we're backing up things using our iCloud, or Snapfish, or Amazon Prime, or Dropbox, that it's safe from the outside world, which just isn't true. As soon as you upload your images and videos to a website or cloud for backup, it's essentially just being stored on someone else's computer. Obviously, we hope that they're doing the best they can at keeping all of your information safe, but breeches do happen! Just keep it in mind. Always back up on an external hard-drive (or 2...).
- Know what you are indeed backing up! You may have your iCloud automatically backing up photos, but there may be photos you don't necessarily ever want getting to the world, even accidentally. Double check the files before you upload them. Also, once in a while, go through your photos and review them. Make sure they really are all ones that, while you assume are safe, in the event that they are not, wouldn't destroy your life, per se.
- Don't have the same password for every site; make sure your passwords are strong! Check out this list of the worst passwords.
- Check your privacy settings on your social media sites often! Social media sites (cough Facebook) have been known to randomly change privacy settings, which means the picture of your child right after birth is now available to millions of people...and you may never know. Just pop in to your security settings once in a while and make sure everything is the way you want.
- Turn off the location settings for your social media sites! You don't really want people knowing where your children and you are at all times, do you? Again, check this often. Also, be smart and don't take photos of your child in front of your house, displaying your house number, or street.
- In terms of sharing photos of your child, more and more parents are turning to watermarks for making sure their photos aren't stolen. One of my mama friends had her entire blog of baby photos stolen by someone who claimed that the baby was her child, on her blog. Yes, this stuff really happens! So, when she does share photos now, she turns the resolution low on the photos and watermarks them clearly so that no one can (hopefully) steal them as their own photos. (Need a watermark app for your phone?)
- If you'd rather not share photos on Facebook, check out this article on other places you can "safely" share photos with family and friends online.
- Most importantly, remember that anyone can take a screen shot, even on a phone, of anything you post online! And, don't underestimate the most basic form of sharing: looking with your eyes. If you let someone see your baby's photos on a private website, they can always show anyone they want, whether you want them to or not.
- Just be smart, and remember, there are people out there who take photos for the wrong reasons, and steal baby photos for their own use, so, be wise about what you post, even if you think it's private!
Some links to check out:
- The Creepiest New Corner of Instagram: Role-Playing With Stolen Baby Photos: Parents Say It's a Digital Kidnapping. Instagram Isn't Sure What To Say.
- The Disturbing Facebook Trend of Stolen Kids Photos
- Does sharing photos of your children on Facebook put them at risk?
- Parents: You Can’t Control Your Baby’s Digital Footprint (But, it will be ok.)
- Check out TInyBeans, which is a highly rated private photo sharing site for families.
- Not All Parents Post Photos Of Their Babies On Facebook
- Do We Reveal Too Much About Our Kids Online?
Cover photo by Molly Leon Studios