The Internet is a wonderful place. It can help people find things they have lost, buy things they need, get in touch with people far away, but it can also be a scary place. It can be a place that brings scams, cheats, lies, and predators. As parents we try very hard to keep these things away from our children but we may not realize that we might be bringing the scary things closer with some of the things we do online.
Recently across the web parents have been alerting one another to the harm of posting photos from digital cameras and camera phones. Many phones and cameras today have online access, and with that online access comes a feature called location services. This feature allows you to access local info for finding restaurants, doctor offices, parks, movie theaters, etc. it also lets you post where you are on social media devices like Facebook, Yelp, and Foursquare. However, it also catalogues where your phone or camera takes a picture, logs the address, and pinpoints it on a map, complete with directions. For those of us parents that love to take photos of our kids this could spell big trouble. Especially if we post those photos to social media spots like Facebook, Instagram, or places like them. Now anyone with a computer has access to the location in which our photo was taken.
This is giving people complete access to the locations where our children were photographed, and if you label the photo “Andy at School,” or “Michelle playing in the kitchen at home,” then people now know the address to those locations. This is making perfect target locations for pedophiles searching locally on the web.
Many parents are fighting back by disabling the location services application for their photos. Eliminating the ability to catalogue the location the photo was taken, to find out how to do this click here. But there are parents that choose not to post photos of their children on the web except in places where they can control who can view with a password given only via invitation. Places like Shutterfly, Dropshots, and Flickr offer password protected websites for photo sharing. Parents create the website and family and friends are invited to view the photos but must create a username and then will be given a password or private link.
Which is the best answer for your family?