If you love sharing pictures of your child on social media, you’re not alone. But while you bombard your friends with cute photos, you may be putting your child’s privacy at risk.

Child identity theft is on the rise and our culture of digital oversharing is likely to blame. Hackers can use seemingly harmless information such as your child’s name, age, what they look like and where they go to school can all be used to create a profile that can later lead to identity theft.

To protect your child, follow a few digital parenting tips:

  1. Tighten up the privacy settings on the sites you use. You can set your Facebook posts to go to just your “friends,” rather than the entire public.
  2. Limit your circle of friends even more by creating a list of “close friends.”
  3. Use a closed Facebook group, which requires you to approve everyone who requests access.
  4. Always use caution before sharing a picture of a child’s actual location or anything that could reveal where they live or go to school.

You should also be careful about sharing pictures of your kids in any state of undress. Even an innocent photo of your kid in the bathtub, might come back to haunt them down the road since nothing on the internet truly goes away.

Travellers are also encouraged to wait until they get home before posting vacation photos. You don’t want to reveal to any would-be burglars that you’re away from home.

It’s also important to keep in mind that smartphones will geotag where a photo is taken if you have that feature turned on. Security experts recommend disabling the geotagging feature when taking photos of your kids. You can do that by going to Settings – then hit Privacy – Location Services – and then turn off the camera.