Home Technology Over-sharing kids’ lives online could cost you whooping $900 million/year in damages by 2030

Over-sharing kids’ lives online could cost you whooping $900 million/year in damages by 2030

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Over-sharing kids’ lives online could cost you whooping $900 million/year in damages by 2030

As we step into the era of digital transparency, your routine act of sharing could become your Achilles’ heel. Astonishing as it may sound, millennial parenting is inadvertently making the world unsafe for their children. A 2030 forecast indicates a startling possibility where oversharing by millennial parents could skyrocket identity theft damages to a whopping 900 million annually!

The advent of sharenting, a term coined to describe the act of parents oversharing their children’s life online, has raised serious concerns about children’s privacy and security. Posing not only a risk of unwanted exposure and scrutiny, this act opens the gateway to a host of potential dangers including digital misuse, cybercrime, and identity theft.

“We should think before we talk about our kids online, because all children deserve a private space to play, to make mischief, even make a few mistakes and grow up better for having made them.” – Leah Plunkett, author of Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk About Our Kids Online.

The Reality of Sharenting

It’s quite usual to find pictures and vlogs of children on social media, where parents share proud moments or milestones. But this innocent act of sharing can quickly morph into oversharing, putting into play a series of dire consequences. By the time children turn 13, their parents have posted around 1,300 pictures and videos of them online, as per the 2018 report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner of England. The dangers from this act are more grounding than you may think.

  • Unwanted attention and scrutiny
  • Digital misuse of the pictures and videos
  • Invasion into the territory of digital pedophiles

Beyond pictures and videos, key data like name, residence, and age can fall into the hands of fraudsters, potentially leading to cybercrime or identity theft. A startling report by Barclays predicts that by 2030, sharenting by millennial parents could cause identity fraud costs reaching an eye-popping $900 million per year in damages.

Millennial Parents and the Risks of Oversharing

Most millennial parents today find sharing their lives on social media an inherent part of their lifestyle. They post everything, from what they’re having for dinner to the cute little dress their child wore to a birthday party. However, are they unknowingly putting their children’s identities at risk? Think about it. The answer might set off alarm bells.

The Question of Consent

Sharenting also infringes on the right of children to consent. Children are not in a position to authorize their lives being shared online, putting parents in a position to determine the scale and consequences of their digital footprint. With adolescents largely condemning sharenting as “embarrassing and useless”, it’s important for parents to realize the long-term implications their actions can have.

  • Distortion of child’s well-being due to social media comparison
  • Fostering a need for online validation in children
  • Comparison with other sharented kids leading to self-esteem issues

But why do parents partake in sharenting, consciously or unknowingly? The reasons vary from pride and showing off to archiving memories or even capitalizing on it as a source of income. However, it’s not all gloom. Sharenting can be beneficial when it leads to community building, allowing parents and kids to share and learn from experiences when dealing with critical diseases or disabilities.

Identity Theft: A Growing Threat

Consider this, a day in your life scrolling through social media feeds. You find them brimming with adorable and innocent kids’ photos or videos shared by their proud millennial parents. It doesn’t seem like a big deal – until it is.

Every digital imprint that we leave behind allows criminals to piece together data that can potentially lead to identity theft. It’s not just about your own personal posts; it’s also about posts related to your children. A simple birthday post with the date and city of birth, a photograph in school uniform showing where they study, or a picture with the family pet revealing its name, could be all an identity thief needs.

Yet, oversharing is second nature to most of us. But as parents, is it not our role to protect our children? Today, we would like you to consider the unseen dangers of oversharing and learn about preventive measures.

Impact of Identity Fraud

So, what happens when a child’s identity gets stolen? Often, this theft goes unnoticed until the child comes of age and starts applying for credit cards or loans. And by then, the damage is usually grave. The child faces credit issues, loan denials, and much more. In severe cases, it could take years to clean up the mess.

Safe Sharenting Practices

We would never intend to put our children in this situation. So, how can we prevent this from happening? The answer is pretty straightforward: be mindful of what you share online.

  • Ensure the maximum level of privacy settings on your social media accounts
  • Teach your children about the importance of privacy and the risks of oversharing as they grow older.
  • Hiding the kid’s face in photos or videos
  • Avoiding location tagging

In a welcome move, French lawmakers have approved a new legislation prohibiting parents from sharing children’s images without their consent.

Yes, preventing identity fraud does require some effort. But remember, it’s an effort to keep your children safe. And isn’t that what all parents ultimately want?

Please, also have a look into : TikTok challenges endangering children, authorities caution parents about disturbing online trends

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