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‘Oversharenting’: When what parents share about kids online can be dangerous

Local police warn parents about posting things about their kids that could attract predators.

Scroll through social media, and it’s no surprise many parents love posting about their kids. But can sharing too much be dangerous?

A study by Nominet found that parents have posted close to 1500 photos of their kids online by the time the child turns 5.

Oversharenting is the word being used to describe parents who use social media too much to share about their kids’ lives.

“As social media has really become an integral part of a lot of people’s live, it’s kind of loosened a lot of parents’ internal controls of what they post,” said Lt. Michael Johnson, a spokesman for the Huntsville Police Department.

Lt. Johnson is warning parents to be careful what they share about their kids online to help protect them from online predators.

“Posting images of your child online half-clothed or not clothed at all or posting your child can be dangerous,” said Lt. Johnson. “There’s a lot of factors involved– depending on where you live or the environment your child lives in, what kind of supervision the child has — it’s just not really a smart thing to do. It’s something parents need to pay attention to.”

According to the Child Rescue Coalition, one way predators target kids is by searching for certain hashtags. #Childbath, #nakedchild, and #babykini are just a few of a list of over 100 hashtags they’re calling for parents to stop using. The coalition says through these, pedophiles can get access to images, which could have private info that could be used to exploit kids.

Local law enforcement has some helpful tips for parents when it comes to posting: don’t share anything in poor taste and avoid sharing any identifying information like home address or the name of the school, church or daycare your child goes to.

Parents can also check the settings on their social media accounts and making their accounts private.

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