Just Because You Took a Photo Doesn’t Mean You Have to Post It

By Paul Fitzgerald
There was once a time when parents pulled out large sized photo albums to share their children’s life stages and accomplishments with family and friends. 

Those big, heavy photo albums however have now been replaced with social media, which means that new parents are sharing photos of their kids on all sorts of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

With a smartphone or a tablet and with the click of a button those special life moments with the kids are instantly exhibited for others to see. 

But what does this all mean on the privacy front? 

Privacy, as we know it, is closing your bedroom curtains when getting ready for bed, or when visiting your doctor behind closed doors, to name a couple of examples. 

In the digital sphere however the perception of digital privacy is greatly distorted. This is simply because many of us have a misunderstanding on what digital privacy actually is. So, keep in mind that every time you are online you are leaving your digital footprint as your internet habits and information you are sharing is being logged and stored somewhere. 

According to Norton.com, online privacy actually has more to do with “who you are and what you are doing,” and remember all your data is of value on the internet: it’s stolen, sold, collected and analyzed. Whenever you download an app, visit a website or engage in social media (posting photos and updates), then you can bet that some company is collecting data on you and using it to their advantage. 

Privacy is very important in this day and age as there many things you don’t want known, like your bank account, health records and your annual income. The best way to protect your privacy online is to avoid sharing information that will come back to haunt you down the road. 

Simply put, online privacy can often be innocently overlooked. While you may have good intentions of posting a baby photo online of your child, keep in mind that you are actually violating their privacy if you’re posting it without their consent.

While many kids blush and laugh at the images their parents are sharing on social media, some may get downright embarrassed and angry over some of them. 

A case in point is an 18 year-old Austrian women who is actually suing her parents for posting humiliating images, as she puts it, of her ‘baby years’ on Facebook. The images include potty-training, diaper changing and nudes. The woman claims that the photos were posted without her consent and her privacy had been invaded. However, her father refuses to remove them and argues that since he took the photos he owns them and has the full right to share on social media. 

Again, the lesson here is to never post images on social media without the consent of others. 

While many of us are active online, here are some key tips you should also follow to protect your own privacy in the digital world we live in. 

  • Create strong, memorable and private passwords for your devices (computer/smartphone/laptop/tablet) 
  • Keep all your antivirus software up-to-date
  • Don’t post detailed information about yourself on social media sites (date of birth, employment, etc)
  • Utilize privacy settings
  • Know the people you are adding as ‘friends’
  • Always log out when done on social media
  • Block users who send spam messages on social media
  • Lock your phone
  • Anti-theft your devices
  • Back up your data
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi

Your personal privacy starts with you. The more you know about how it works online, the more you can do to protect it.

Paul Fitzgerald is a science and technology writer with Inventorspot.com and blogs for CNN International Report. He is also tech and celebrity writer with Hoss Magazine, one of North America's leading home lifestyle publications. 

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