Neptune Navigate Blog

Tips for online safety, security, and responsible digital citizenship for parents, kids, and families.

Protecting Your Child’s Digital Footprint

May 26, 2021

Are you worried about all the time your child is spending online?  Do they have a need to post, share, like, comment, etc. on whatever platform they happen to use? Well, it turns out that parents aren’t immune to the lure of social media postings as well. There’s a term called “sharenting” that refers to parents who give away too much information about their children online.

Experts agree that the biggest violators of online privacy aren’t the kids themselves, but their parents. Think about the last time you saw a baby announcement on social media, photos of a child’s birthday party, or their first day of school.

Your child’s digital footprint begins the moment you share anything about your child online, and in these cases, before they even know what a digital footprint is!  What may seem like a simple “proud parenting” moment may be something your child would be embarrassed about later on. You’re essentially creating their digital footprint without their permission. 

Tammi Carter, CEO of LifeSmart Youth offers this advice to parents. “Share mindfully. It’s ok to share a few pictures on the web but be sure that privacy settings are always in place and that only approved friends and family can access those pictures. Avoid sharing details like your child’s name and birthdate and ask your friends and family members not to share videos of your child without permission. Don’t post pictures or videos that reveal any personal information about your child.”  It’s important to remember that any photos or videos of your children posted on social media are permanent and can be used by predators in nefarious ways. 

Parenting can be difficult in this digital world, but it can also be dangerous. By being diligent about privacy settings and controls we can help our children be less of an online target.  We all want our kids to be safe in the online world and we need to understand that our own online activity has the potential to create a harmful online presence for them.

So, let’s ALL be smart and stay safe online!