The year 2010 was a time when before uploading any personal picture on Instagram one used to think like a thousand times whether it is safe to do that or not? Probably ten years later Instagram has become a safer place, because now not only you find pictures of youngsters and adults in it but a big section of it is ruled by kids of all age groups!
Sharenting has become a choice of career for many parents. And with its demand for high-quality content; the parenting influencer thing has become a full-time high salary paying job in the market.
Parenting blogging comes with its own perks and risks. As beautiful as the virtual world looks from outside; the deeper you dig the more hard and bitter reality you will be able to see. With the new age, career choices come new challenges. The problems can lie on both sides of the table, from the givers and the takers.
Internet Is And Always Be A Virtual World
Many researchers have predicted that identity theft in coming years will increase exponentially as the parents are knowingly-unknowingly putting up their family’s crucial details through videos and pictures on Instagram and other websites. Using your child’s first name every now and then or making your anniversary celebration an eye-catching event can sometimes attract the attention of online hackers.
I’ve seen for content, parents have been sharing photographs and videos of their kids in schools, classes, homes, bathrooms, shopping malls, parking lots, and restaurants. Please understand that the internet has always been a big vulnerable medium and shall always be one. Sharing your private life openly can lead to complications at any point in time.
Someone can come up portraying themselves as your child’s relative. Pictures can easily be edited and child abductions are scary things.
Every detail of your child’s life must not be shared across in public. And the luxury to afford a life of celebrity comes with so much pain. Do things that you can afford. The simplest things that you can do is:
1. Know Your Followers
Genuine followers will give you a response. They will always maintain a healthy relationship. But there can be many fraud accounts that must be following you for an infinite number of reasons. Maintain a habit of clearing up such contacts. Instagram shows details of least interacted accounts; you may wish to restrict data with the least interacted accounts or even may want to remove them from your list. The ground rule of survival is “Safety first!”.
2. Doubly Check The Content You Upload
Sometimes in the flow, we don’t realize but maybe unknowingly some unwanted details also get uploaded. The only advice is precaution is better than cure. Don’t just upload because you see everything as potential content now. Before shooting anything just remove all the clutter from the frame.
3. Monitor Your Device’s Privacy Settings
Open your device’s settings and check for permissions you have given to different applications. Keep a close watch on what data those applications have access to. Once you get to know the details you will have to enable or disable app permissions one by one. Do this on a monthly basis.
4. Your Personal Information Is PERSONAL
Credit card fraud is the most common type of cybercrime that is reported. Barclays forecasts by 2030 it could cost almost £670m in online fraud. Through social media, it becomes very easy to crack passwords because a lot of personal information is accessible to the world in influencer’s public profile. You might not feel it then, but in a way you are revealing your names, ages, and dates of births in the form of birthday celebrations that you share. Identity theft is yet another domain that comes up easily as you let unknown people know your addresses, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, schools, the names of pets, etc.
5. Limit Your Interactions
Many times through Facebook groups and Instagram we meet folks who want to support the same cause as you do but all of them are not alike. I am an active member of the Breastfeeding support group for Indian women. A case was reported when a person with a fake identity and had asked one of the mothers to show correct latching positions for the baby over the video call. Came to know later that there was some pervert just trying to have fun at the other end of the screen. Watch out else you’ll land up regretting it!
6. Prohibit From Uploading Medical Information
Unknown sites may leak your medical history to the world. Medical prescriptions are signed by authorized doctors and can be misused by unknown people and may lead to drug abuse.
There are thousands of cases of stalking and fraud that are reported in crime branches every day. What we can do as literate people is to be a little cautious in what’s going on.
At one point as mom and dad, we use parental locks in every spamming site, and on the other, we are just filling in the data of our little kids in every possible parenting and kids known-unknown websites and mobile apps.
We have to understand that, sharing photographs, videos, and other data from personal life was dangerous ten years back and shall remain dangerous even in the future.
I am not saying that this should stop the parenting influencer’s good work. But I rather suggest keeping everything balanced. Stay alert and measure your risk-taking capacity before you actually land up committing any big mistake.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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