How To Protect Your Newborn Online | Arizona Newborn Photographer
We talk about cyber safety a lot. We worry about our information getting out there and being stolen. Unfortunately I often see new parents ignore cyber safety guidelines when it comes to their newborn.
When we were in the hospital after Emi (notice it’s always her nickname) was born we were counseled by our nurses to be careful about our social media posts. We were told to keep the hospital we were in a secret. We were told not to announce when we were headed home or to hang banners welcoming our baby home. And of course there is all that hospital security; patient specific entry codes to get onto the labor & delivery ward and only nurses with pink badges are authorized to work with your baby. I can only imagine what circumstances led to these warnings and the creation of these policies. And honestly, I shudder to think.
Posting about your newborn’s arrival
I think the most important and obvious cyber safety principle is often completely ignored in the case of newborns and it looks something like this:
“We are so excited to announce the arrival of David Isaac Smith on 03.29.2019 at 5:02pm. He weighed in at 7lbs 12oz and 20″ long.” (names and dates are made up)
What’s wrong with it? A post like this contains baby’s full name and birthday. What more does an identity thief need?
Consider something like this to convey the same information but in a safer way.
“We are so excited to announce the arrival of baby David last week weighing in at 7lbs 12oz and 20″ long. We are so happy he’s finally here!”
Monitor what other people post about your newborn
If the decision to protect your newborn online is important to you, know that you have the right (and responsibility) to enforce that decision with other adults in your baby’s life. When Emi was born a family member posted something very similar to the first example on their personal feed. I asked them to modify it to protect her full name and birthday and they were happy to oblige. Like many people, I just don’t think they had thought it through.
And never assume that you have permission to post pictures of other people’s babies/kids. I got myself in trouble with a family member who has made the decision to keep their children off social media. I posted a picture of our kids together and they very kindly asked me to remove the image and educated me on their decision.
How I protect my clients
Posting pictures of my clients, including newborns, is an important part of my business and I am so grateful for the parents that allow me to do it. To help keep them safe I never post my clients full names and when kids are involved I use a single letter when mentioning them. For example, “Baby D was so cute in his striped onesie!” I also never post birth or fresh 48 images with anything date specific to help protect their birthday.
Make proactive decisions about your baby’s online presence
My baby girl is the most precious thing in my life. I would hate if something I did thoughtlessly while she’s a baby had serious repercussions for her future. I have only touched on one aspect of this complicated issue and would encourage you to educate yourself on the topic so you and your spouse can make an informed decision for your family.