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Is it unsafe to post family pictures of children online?

Posting your child's pictures on any site could put them at risk for victimization. Using privacy settings to limit access to your children's pictures can help to protect them. However, you need to be sure that only people you know and trust in real life are able to see your pictures.

There is no particular way to prevent your uploaded images from being copied, saved, and used by other individuals online. The only way to ensure that no one is using and saving your images is to avoid uploading them to the Internet. Even if you use coding to prevent users from right-clicking and saving your pictures, they can still screencapture the page the images are posted on.

Once an image is online, there is no getting it back.

The rules we tell children to follow when posting pictures online is to think before posting photos. Personal photos should not have revealing information, such as school names or locations. Look at the backgrounds of the pictures to make sure you are not giving out any identifying information without realizing it. The name of a mall, the license plate of your car, signs, or the name of your sports team on your jersey or clothing all contain information that can give your family's location away.

If you see others using your images and you want to stop them, you should contact the customer service department of the site to request that the image be removed. On some sites, you can report users for copyright violation if they are using your images without your permission. For example, on MySpace, you can report copyright violations by contacting their Copyright Agent with information detailing the infringement by sending an e-mail to copyrightagent@myspace.com.