Are your toddlers too young to have digital footprints?
We see it all the time and I admit I am as guilty as the next parent, but are we putting too much information about our small children online for others to see?
We worry about what children do online
We may be worrying about the wrong people when it comes to online safety for our children. It could be our faults as parents that there is far too much information about them online. When a child reaches the age to open their Facebook account or Twitter, they may find that there is already a profile in place with their name. Sadly, their parents pre-empted their online futures when they were smaller and register social media accounts with their child’s name so it’s available when they get older.
Marriah Greene 4 month old on Facebook
One such case was of Marriah Greene, foetus of Matt and Ellie Greene, who had 350 Facebook friends at 4 months old and still in Ellie’s womb. They wanted to share the experience with all their friends and family. The child was able to tell the world that it was “kicking mommy” and growing well. Facebook pulled this page down as it broke their rules on setting up a profile for someone else without their permission.
(image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk)
Quarter of unborn babies are online
AVG Technologies carried out a survey and found that 1 in 4 unborn babies already have a digital footprint and 1 in 3 children have had images put online of them after they were born. The latter is a little understandable as our kids grow so fast and the easy access to a digital camera on our phones, we tend to take a lot of photos. Parents like to show their children off to the world and they are one of the most “Like”, “Share” and “Comment” photos on people’s timelines.
(image courtesy of Wikipedia.ie)
92% of children in the US are online
AVG Technologies also conducted research that said more than 9 out of every 10 children under age of 2 have their images online, which can be found stored on parents social networks, blogs, photo sharing sites or other websites. Some parents share experiences from the moment of conception to the birth in an online diary style, so they have this treasure to give their child when they grow up. Will the child like or loathe their parents for the actions are yet to be discovered.
How long does information stay on the Internet?
Remember that slogan “forever” applies to online data that has been uploaded to any website. Google can search for these items for up to 4 years normally on one site, but if the data is copied and shared on other sites, this can last a lot longer. But potentially if the site still exists and the page is still available, the information is basically there forever.
What age should children start online journey?
From reading this, would there be a change on approach to when children can go online. In Ireland, the statistics are reporting that 1 in 3 children aged 6 are online alone. 13 % of these children have been recorded as being victims of Cyber-bullying.
If we can start the journey online as a family, we may improve our child’s safety online.
For more information & tips on Cyber Bullying & Internet Safety log on to www.CyberSafetyAdvice.com and www.PcClean.ie