Many parents are not aware of the risks this entails. This and more is apparent from research by VPNGids.nl among 811 Dutch people.
Facebook, Instagram and other online platforms are mainly full of snapshots of children: 57.3% of parents sometimes share a photo of their child online. The name (36.8%) and age, date of birth or birthday (31.8%) of a child are also often posted by parents on social media.
Child consent is unnecessary for many parents
More than four in ten parents never ask their child’s permission when they post something about them online. Some of the parents simply did not think about asking permission (11%), while other parents think they do not need to ask their children’s permission (8.6%). The fact that a child is too young (or unable) to give approval is the main reason for not asking for one in four parents.
The fact that many parents do not ask their child’s permission is striking: almost half of these parents do want permission to be asked if someone else posts something about them.
Many parents do not take children’s privacy into account
Parents who share information about their child online can reduce privacy risks in several ways, although the vast majority of parents do not take this into account.
For example, 51.4% of parents do not shield their profile from strangers when they post something about their child. All shared information about the child is visible to the whole world. 57.6% of parents also do not take into account whether a child has a bare (upper) body in a photo or in a video.
David Janssen, cybersecurity analyst at VPNGids.nl, says: “Children in the pool or on the beach are of course very cute. Unfortunately, there are people who associate such photos with sexuality. So it is best to avoid posting this.”
In addition, almost four out of five parents do not rule out sharing information about their child’s school or (sports) club. Janssen: “By sharing this kind of personal information, you indirectly share the location of your child. This allows people with wrong intentions to find out exactly where your child is at that moment.”