Sharenting is a relatively recent term being used to describe the overuse of social media by parents who are sharing too much information about their children in their social media posts.
While it may just seem like the harmless act of proud parents, Barclays claims that sharenting is in fact the weakest link in risking online fraud and identity theft and that parents are putting their children’s future financial security at risk, forecasting up to £670m in online fraud due to sharenting.
The information being revealed by parents on social media can be easily retrieved and misused by attackers and online predators to gain trust, obtain unauthorised access to online accounts or carry out identity fraud scams; This information includes schools, names of family members, pets, birthdays interests and hobbies and photographs. Some other dangers of sharenting include potential embarrassment and bullying, damaging online reputation and potentially breaching the right to privacy of your child.
So, as a parent, what can you do to protect your child’s online identity and financial security?
Some simple solutions already available within social media platforms include changing your social media privacy settings to ensure that your profiles and posts are not set up as public, and restricting sharing so that posts and other content are only viewable by friends and followers who you know, trust and who you want to see your content.
Some tips for general practice when it comes to sharenting include taking a moment to just think about the content you are sharing and how it could affect your child, talking to and gaining consent from your child before posting, and of course the safest approach to sharenting, as difficult as it may be, would be to just not do it.