Many of us at ESET are parents too, so we understand you want to share pictures and videos of your firstborn (or second, third) with the world. But before you do so, ask yourself: does everyone out there need to know? Sharing publicly on social networks without the right privacy settings might expose your kids or whole family to risks you might not have considered.

First of all, keep in mind that what goes online can stay there forever. It’s likely you won’t have as much control over it as you would like, especially when the content is re-shared by your friends. Just think, how many friends are we talking about? 100, 200 or 500? This number might skyrocket if you don’t place restrictions on who can see your post.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying you should stop sharing your happy memories online completely. But before you do, make sure you check the privacy settings every time you post a photo or a video of your child.

How’s that done? Create a special group containing only family members and possibly some of your closest friends. If possible, disable the re-sharing options outside this group. That way, your posts can only be seen by the people you have selected.

Another word of advice: do not post anything that might compromise the integrity of your child. For you, virtual reality is still clearly separate from the offline world, but your kids will likely grow up in an environment entirely connected to the internet, blurring the boundary between offline and online.  

Educate your child about the potential risks and lead by example, showing them how to handle sensitive information online. Start with your social networks profiles.

Don’t be cautious with just pictures and videos of your child, but also with other details the post could give away. You don’t want information such as your kid’s school, their extracurricular activities or your home address to end up in the wrong hands.

For a safe online experience, keep track of what your kids do with their devices. ESET Parental Control App for Android allows you to limit their online and gaming time, helps you find out what they’re up to in cyberspace and block websites with inappropriate content. Uniquely, it also gives kids the opportunity to ask for permission to play or browse longer or visit specific websites.

For more helpful tips on how to keep your little ones safe on the Internet, when playing games or using social networks, check out the Child Protection Guide in our Guides section.