Is digital sharing putting your child at risk?

If you love sharing pictures of your child on social media, you’re not alone. But there can be consequences beyond bombarding friends with cute photos. You may be putting your child’s privacy at risk.

Child identity theft is on the rise, and Consumer Reports says our culture of digital oversharing is likely to blame. Seemingly harmless information like your child’s name, their age, what they look like, where they go to school, all of that information can be used to create a profile that a hacker can use down the road for identity theft.

Consumer Reports says follow these digital parenting tips: First, tighten up the privacy settings on the sites you use. You can set your Facebook posts to go to just your “friends,” rather than the entire public. And limit your circle of friends even more by creating a list of “close friends.” Another option is a closed Facebook group that requires you to approve everyone who requests access.

Always use caution before sharing a picture of a child’s actual location, anything that could reveal hints of your home or their school. And be careful about sharing pictures of your kids in any state of undress. Even a very innocent photo of your kid naked in the bathtub might kind of haunt them down the road since nothing on the internet truly goes away.

Another thing to think about, wait until you get home before posting any vacation photos. You don’t want to reveal to any would-be burglars that you’re away from home.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.

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