It is common for parents to brag about their children on social media sites, like Facebook or Instagram.

Although this may seem harmless, parents should think about whether every picture or video is worth sharing to the public. Angie Boy, the program manager at the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children, cautions parents and advises for them to think twice before posting their kids online.

Privacy is Paramount

Parents should consider the privacy settings on their devices and apps before sharing images of kids on social media.

“Any and everyone on the internet can find your pictures,” Boy told 21Ninety. “Predators can digitally manipulate that photo to make it a lewd photo.”

Adults should also be conscious of tagging your location on posts or using specific hashtags.

“You wouldn’t tell a stranger where they go to school or who their friends are, but when you post that information you’ve done just that,” Boy said.

Know Your Motivation For Posting

Social media does have its benefits. It’s a great tool for staying connected to family and friends. However, this doesn’t mean that every candid moment is worthy of a post. Parents should take a step back and question whether they are sharing to update a close knit group of loved ones or for a different reason.

“If you have friends in other parts of the world, [the pandemic] taught us the benefits of social media,” she said. “You really have to judge whether benefits outweigh risks.”

Keep It Positive and Uplifting

Avoid posting videos or pictures that don’t show them in a good light on social media. This could be considered an invasion of your child’s privacy. “You want to avoid pictures that embarrass or shame the child,” Boy suggests.

Have Your Child’s Permission

If you show your child a picture of them that you want to share online, Boy advises parents to listen to their children. She advises parents to create a safe space, where their children are allowed to say no.

“If we are telling them they have autonomy over their body and that their body belongs to them, that transfers to their images, too,” Boy said.

Avoid Oversharing

If you’ve ever noticed that your child avoids taking pictures with you, you may be guilty of over sharing. Boy advises parents no to simply depend on their own comfort level with social media. She believes that parents also should give thought to their children’s opinions.