The Risks of Posting Your Kids' Photos Online

By Melissa Batai

Any regular reader of blogs likely has seen pictures of the blog owner's smiling children.  As humans, we crave the personal touch, and we like feeling like we know the blogger and her family.  Some bloggers even share funny or memorable photos of their children such as them getting into mischief or sitting on the potty while learning to potty train.

This is innocent, enough, right?  Well, on the bloggers end, yes, but sometimes those photos can inadvertently end up where the blogger would never want them.

Photos of Kids: A Predator's Dream

One blogger discovered that the innocent photo of her son sitting on the potty while potty training ended up on a site visited by child predators.  Keep in mind that predators do routinely surf the net for pictures of young children, and once the picture of your child is available, it's free for anyone to see (and use).  You have no control over where that picture ends up or who uses it.

Is Your Picture Used in an Advertisement without Your Consent?

Likewise, your photos may end up in advertisements on the other side of the world.  The Telegraph reports that one American family's Christmas photo was being used in Prague to advertise a grocery store's delivery service.  The family was never notified and received no compensation.

Your Child Will Grow Up, and She Might Not Like Her Photos on the Internet

Finally, keep in mind your adorable 5 year old will all too quickly grow into a teenager who may not want her childhood pictures on the Internet for all of her friends to see.  If they are connected with  her name, anyone will be able to find those pictures.  This is especially true if you've posted embarrassing photos of your kids, which some bloggers do.

Are You Making Your Child a Kidnapping Target?

There is a chance, though remote, that someone would fixate on your child and want to kidnap him or her.  However, the chance of this happening is far more remote than the other three scenarios listed above.

Only you can decide if you're comfortable posting your child's image online.  If you are, make sure to only post photos that aren't compromising or embarrassing and realize that there is the potential that your photos could end up somewhere you wouldn't like.

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