Trust me when I say that having a large following on social media - in particular, Instagram is something that I get concerned about.
You might be thinking, “well just delete their account?”. You CAN have the accounts AND have peac of mind if you consider the following points regarding your kids safety and security.
- First and foremost, don’t post a photo or status update with a location tagged WHEN YOU ARE AT THE LOCATION! If you have to - do it just before you’re about to leave! If you are unsure about if your posts are automatically tagged, check the location section in your “settings” and uncheck Instagram, Facebook etc. Or when you post a picture to Instagram, just make sure that you haven’t turned on the location feature before you press “post”. You can also go into the location tab on your Instagram profile page, press “edit” and delete photos which don’t need their location tagged on. PLEASE untag photos which were posted at your home or family/friends houses!
- Try not to advertise your surname. I know that this may sound weird, but the less personal information you give out, the harder it is for anyone to track you down. This is also relevant if you are tagging anyone from your family in your photo, (eg. Here’s Mum, @sarahblahblah). I’m not saying to not use your name as your Instagram Handle, but how about using a nickname (like Ollie) or only part of your surname (@ollieblah).
- Whatever you do, don’t show your kids school, daycare centre, home address as logos in your photos. I use an app called Facetune where I can remove logos and blur out signage if needed. There would be nothing more concerning to have your kids location advertised when you aren’t around to watch over them!
- I don’t know about you, but I’m also a little weary about stating what part of Australia we live in on our Instagram profile. We are fortunate enough to be able to travel to a lot of beautiful locations along the east coast of our country, so apart from the captions on our Instagram posts, I believe I’ve made it slightly harder for people to determine where we are based.
- Ensure that you have written in the profile that an adult, or "Mum", or "Dad" manages the page. Not only does Instagram and Facebook have policies on their users being over 13 years old, but this ensures that your page won't be deleted under the assumption that a child has created an account.
- Remember that once you post a picture on Instagram or Facebook or anywhere on the web - it’s there FOREVER! It doesn’t matter if you delete it from your account, you would never know if someone has saved it to their own personal devices or not. So if you’re thinking of posting a cute little pic of your kids bum, or them in the bath, playing under the hose, in a little bikini or whatever, you have to be sure that you are fine with it being on the internet for good.
- PLEASE use the block feature on Instagram or Facebook if you come across someone you don’t like the look of. I try my hardest to have a quick look at most people’s profiles once they start following us, and yep - if the account looks dodgy, I quickly press that block button. There is no limit to the amount of people you can block from accessing your account, so make yourself familiar with it now!
I hope that this advice helps you with your own social media accounts. We all know that there are people in this world that shouldn’t have access to our kids pictures, but it’s unavoidable. All you can do is take the necessary steps to make your page as secure as possible.