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Young Children Social Networking Online

How Young Is Too Young to Put Your Kid Online?

According to a new study, a whopping 92 percent of US babies under age 2 have some sort of online presence. The study, which involved several Western countries including Australia, Canada, and Japan, found that 82 percent of children under 2 have a digital footprint, though the US leads the group with the highest percentage of online kids. Japan was the only country involved in the study to have less than half of its youngest kids represented online.

Find out more about the results after the break.

The study defined "online presence" as any kind of online representation, including photos posted on social networks like Facebook. And the report also notes that it's not necessarily the child's mother who is doing the photo uploading — often it's friends and family members. While some may see uploading photos of an adorable baby as harmless, personal info included in the photographs like the baby's middle name or mother's maiden name may aid identity thieves.

Some parents take it to another level, creating blogs or Twitter accounts for their (sometimes unborn) children. While I agree that a blog or Twitter account may be the best way to stay in daily contact with faraway friends and family, do you think we need to be worried about identity theft or other malicious activity before posting? Would you ever make a conscious effort to keep your child off of the Internet?

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Join The Conversation
Sundown321 Sundown321 5 years
I'm glad I'm not alone in the feeling that people take the baby stuff too far on Facebook. I have so many friends who have put a sonogram as their main picture. I don't think that is necessary. At all.
Gawjuslayd Gawjuslayd 5 years
My son is 10 and I only started putting pictures up of him in 2008. I am so sick of seeing these moms that I went to school with post pictures of their babies! It is mainly for the attention. People want to show their kids off so they can get compliments from their friends. I personally think that if you are OK with the potential of someone seeing your 4 year-old and kidknapping her, then by all means publish her photo. I think that you should wait until your child is old enough that s/he can handle strangers and the attention a picture can conjure.
Akasha Akasha 5 years
I don't have children so I'm not sure how much my opinion counts, but from an outsider standpoint I get wanting to share photos of your children with others and if it's a very secure area it should be fine. I feel like people sometimes forget what kind of a whole we live in and what kind of people are out there on the internet, and do you really want those people with access to photos of your child. Recently we shot a segment discussing the dangers of people having those stickers on the back of their cars with the stick figures of the family and the kids names on it. It was amazing how many people don't even consider that you have just given a predator a lot of information on your child and family, and the same with photos. The amount of information that can be gleaned from a photograph in the wrong hands could put you child in a great deal of danger. So while you may be monitoring what your kid is viewing online you have no idea who is else is watching your child. With status updates and blog entries your child could be blueprinting their own abduction. I know I sound over-dramatic and ominous but until I shot the segment I really had no idea how ingenious child predators are, and how easy the internet has made it for them.
Akasha Akasha 5 years
I don't have children so I'm not sure how much my opinion counts, but from an outsider standpoint I get wanting to share photos of your children with others and if it's a very secure area it should be fine. I feel like people sometimes forget what kind of a whole we live in and what kind of people are out there on the internet, and do you really want those people with access to photos of your child. Recently we shot a segment discussing the dangers of people having those stickers on the back of their cars with the stick figures of the family and the kids names on it. It was amazing how many people don't even consider that you have just given a predator a lot of information on your child and family, and the same with photos. The amount of information that can be gleaned from a photograph in the wrong hands could put you child in a great deal of danger. So while you may be monitoring what your kid is viewing online you have no idea who is else is watching your child. With status updates and blog entries your child could be blueprinting their own abduction. I know I sound over-dramatic and ominous but until I shot the segment I really had no idea how ingenious child predators are, and how easy the internet has made it for them.
TammyO TammyO 5 years
So having kids=not interesting or cool, eh?
totygoliguez totygoliguez 5 years
My cousin created an online account for his unborn baby. I'm personally not a fan of Facebook--love my privacy too much. My sister-in-law does post a lot of pictures of my nephew on Facebook and videos, which it gives me a chance to see how much he is progressing, also if it's privet enough, I don't really have a problem with it. But I do have to agree, parents should be the only ones allowed to post pictures of their babies on Facebook.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years
So true! A friend of mine went from pretty cool to constantly talking about her child's every move. I don't want to hear about your kid's bathroom habits, okay? Thanks.
kevbayer kevbayer 5 years
We let our kids have an email address at age 9 and join FB at age 13. Once they have an email, if they want to join and write on our family blog they can. At age 11 they can start their own blog if they want. At age 12 they can start creating accounts on other websites (such as youtube). We monitor all their accounts.
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