Many people have a Facebook account, and they use it to show others what’s been going on in their lives. With so many people posting pictures, it seems normal, and even safe, to post pictures of the kids in the family, too.
There is one major and very important reason why you shouldn’t do this, though. All over the world, there are people out there who would love to get their hands on your children – anyone’s children, really, but especially cute, adorable ones like your own.
A horrible scenario has happened to many people on Facebook.
They make a horrible, tragic mistake and allow someone who they don’t know personally to add them to their Facebook. Soon after, when they post something about their children and have a photo attached, they aren’t thinking about the person they recently added. They should, though, because in this horrible scenario that happens every day, that new ‘friend,’ is really a trafficker in the business of selling children.
They then save the photo to their own hard drive and then upload it to an online catalog of children for sale. Advertising the child for whatever they think they can get, they simply wait until an offer is received. Thousands of people view these catalogs. It’s a billion dollar business, and your child is a highly marketable and profitable good to these nasty people.
While the trafficker waits to be contacted by a buyer for that child, this new Facebook ‘friend’ watches for the parent to post something about where the child is going to be – school, activity outside of school, or even church. When the trafficker feels he or she (yes, there are women who do this, too) can grab that child without bringing attention to themselves, it’s too late for the parent to change anything. Their child is gone, most likely forever. There are buyers all over the world who would love to be able to have free rein over your child.
These traffickers live and work all over the world, and they sell children for thousands of dollars plus fees. They sell them to people who will do more than just abuse them. These people want nothing good for your child and the horrors that these children live and often die with make the worst and most graphic horror movies pale in comparison.
It’s not worth it to post photos and other information that can lead a kidnapper to your child. Please, for the sake of your child, don’t add people to your Facebook, or allow them to add you, unless you really truly know them. Also, don’t post photos of your children with any information that will let child traffickers know where they live, visit, go to school, participate in activities or anything else. Your child and all children, for that matter, are too precious to lose because of a ‘friend’ being added to your online collection.
Another problem with posting pictures of your children, even if you know who all of your friends are in real life, is that your friends and relatives might share them on their own profile if you post these photos to yours. If you have your privacy settings set to private, this is supposed to guarantee that they will not be seen by anyone who is not in your original circle, but with hackers and data thieves, you have no guarantee that this will remain that way.
Privacy settings can be changed easily (see the video below). Also, your great aunt and uncle might save the photo of your precious daughter or son to be shared later with their friends. If this happens, you have no control over who will see it if they re-share the photo they’ve saved. You also don’t know what they will post and what information it will contain.
Please, always think about your and your child’s safety on the internet. People don’t always intend for the person with the profile to be their intended target. Sometimes, it’s the innocent one who has nothing between them and a pedophile trafficker, except for you and your decisions. Don’t be the next mother who makes this mistake that your child must pay for. Don’t lose your child like the others have.