I’m worried about how they might be used.
I live and breath social media. My job revolves around social media. I know what my friends and family are doing with their lives because of social media. I’m an addict.
I am also pregnant. In about 22 weeks, I’m going to have a baby. If the photos of my dogs on my Instagram are anything to go by, that baby will be seen by the world before they are seen by many of my friends and family.
This is actually very normal, but is it safe? That’s the question that keeps playing over and over in my mind when I can’t sleep thanks to Bump.
Recently in the US, Brittany Champagne found private and personal photos of her 8-year-old daughter on a fake Instagram account with links to online pornography. Turns out, those photos originally posted on her private Facebook account were everywhere.
"We’ve had the photos pulled down from over 20 sites, but they’re on even more where I couldn’t find a way to get them down,” she tells Yahoo.
The even scarier part is Champagne thought all her privacy settings were set to maximum. "I found out after this happened that my pictures weren’t as private as I thought they were, I guess my settings weren’t right. It’s humiliating," she confesses.
Sure, you can blame Champagne for not keeping up with the regular privacy changes. But the reality is that anything put online has the potential to be shared.
How do you know what privacy setting your friend who likes and comments on your photo has?
How do you know your sibling isn't going to share your photo of your newborn on their public Facebook page with a caption, "Love my new niece"?
You also don't realise how much data is attached to that image, things like your location, for instance.
For example, this is my worst nightmare; I post a photo of my newborn while still in hospital. Somewhere in the image you can find out which hospital I'm in, a logo, something gives it away. And someone decides that my little one looks cute enough to have as their own.
Or how about I take a photo of their first swimming lesson. There they are dressed in a covers-everything-up swimmers. Innocent. Harmless. But is it potentially something that could be used by child pornographers?
Am I paranoid? Am I letting the pregnancy hormones get to me? Do I need to stop watching Law and Order: SVU?
According to most of the mums I know, yes.
When it comes to the scary world of online pedophiles, most of the mums I know rationalise it away. "There are so many photos of kids out there that you'd have to be pretty unlucky to have yours used for evil purposes. And even if it is - really, it's not going to hurt your child. Not physically," says Helen, mum of two.