It seems harmless enough to post updates about your child on social media. Maybe you want to share a cute photo of them in their uniform on their first day of school. Or maybe they made a mess while eating something.

Fifteen years ago, we recorded memories by taking photos or recording videotapes. We could share these with our families abroad. But we didn’t give out family pictures to colleagues at work or friends’ friends. Today, that is what happens when we post pictures of our children to social media.

Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are quick and easy. Thanks of them, loved ones don’t have to miss out on important moments.

But we need to give a second thought when it comes to sharing photos of a child.

Two things to keep in mind when deciding whether to share a photo are safety and privacy. Here are some guidelines on posting pictures of your child:

  1. Don’t post pictures of your child naked

    This one is obvious. Don’t share photos of your babies in the bathtub or sink or on the potty.

  2. Don’t make location obvious

    Make sure photos don’t give away where your child lives, plays, or goes to school. Pay attention to what landmarks are visible behind them. Look for visible street signs, well-known buildings, and school or daycare signage. This is important to keeping your child safe from predators in case the photo gets into the wrong hands.

  3. Don’t post photos with other kids

    Yes, your daughter looks super cute with the best friend she made on her first day of school. But it is crucial to ask the permission of the child’s parent before posting the picture. Some parents don’t want their children’s photos floating around. Even if the child in question is the child of a friend, ask first to be safe.

  4. Respect your child’s wishes

    We usually ask for a person’s consent before posting their photo. This is key with children. If your child is too young to give you their consent, ask yourself whether in the future your child would mind. If your child is over 3 years old, ask them whether they mind you sharing the photo.

  5. Consider your audience

    What kind of people do you have on your Facebook? If you’re friends with a lot of people who you’re not in touch with, it’s time to “mow the lawn.” Cut your Facebook friendships down. Think about if you trust everyone on your list with your child’s photo.Snapchat and Whatsapp groups are better options than Facebook for sharing photos with smaller groups of people.

Make your child’s safety and privacy a priority when you want to share snippets from your child’s life.

Rather than post daily photo updates of your child, consider sharing their funny stories. Maybe your child made a funny or smart comment. Those are just as much or even more fun to read.