This is a follow on to my post about sharenting, and whether we are unintentionally compromising our children’s financial safety by sharing on social media. By this I mean things like their name, DOB and address, which can then be used to commit online fraud against them, either now or in the future.
A report by Barclays has estimated that if we continue to overshare posts and photos that give away personal information, it could cost our children over £670 million per year by 2030 in online fraud.
It’s so easily done and the majority of us are guilty of it. Think about the adoring first photo you share when your baby is born, or their first day of school posing outside your front door. That’s their DOB and house number straight away, plus perhaps your maiden name on your profile.
I’m not saying don’t share, it’s just about thinking before you post, and following these tips:
- Check carefully that what you’re posting doesn’t contain any personal information about you or your child – name, address, DOB, and anything which could be used as an answer to a security question (town of birth, first pet, first school etc.)
- Change your passwords regularly, not just when you’re prompted to. Make sure you are using different passwords for your various accounts, and steer clear of the classic words – children’s names for example. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and characters
- Make sure the privacy settings on your social media accounts are set at a level you are comfortable with. You can also tailor each individual post so that it is only visible by certain people.
You should also have a conversation with any friends or family that may also be sharing about you or your children. The Barclays report highlighted that 24% of parents don’t query a post about them, even if they don’t approve it. It is possible to change your settings so that you have to approve anything which you are tagged in, before it goes live.
I’m not scaremongering here, and I will continue to share posts and photos of my children. I’m now much more aware of the consequences though, so I will definitely think before I post.