Teenage boy walking on a pathway with tall grass to the side.

The Risks of Sharing Vacation Photos on Social Media

by Screen Time Team on 25/07/2018
Family posting outside together for a selfie.

A selfie in the moment is great. But it doesn’t need to be posted.

What’s Wrong With Vacation Photos?

The main problem with vacation photos, at least if you share them while on vacation, is that they tell the entire world that you’re not at home. This alerts criminals, vandals, and other people that your home is unprotected and wide open to whatever they want to do. Granted, the overall probability of this is somewhat low, but at the same time, we don’t take unnecessary risks online, why should we take them in the real world?

Just as difficult, though, is that social media and photo sharing is a distraction from your vacation. Even if your profile is completely private, the reality of social media is that people interact with the things you post. They like them, they post comments, they ask questions, and, especially if you’re in a beautiful place, a supposed escape from the hustle of the every day, why are you paying attention to social media in the first place?

Setting The Rules

Teenage boy walking on a pathway with tall grass to the side.

Those great vacation pics will be just as shareable after you’re back home.

So, before you set off on your vacation, you should set a few rules, and perhaps install a parental control app to enforce them. Parental control software can be useful for any vacation, but it needs to be backed up with a conversation about why you’re putting the rules in place.

    • First of all, set a standard for the whole family, not just your kids. While children may be more prone to being glued to their smartphones, we can all be lured into the same cycle of posting for likes and comments, and it can ruin our vacation just as easily. So, your whole family should agree to ignore social media.
    • Second, kids shouldn’t talk about vacation plans on social media, for much the same reason they shouldn’t share photos while on vacation. Make sure they understand the risks.
    • Next, everyone should be allowed to take all the photos they want, just they shouldn’t post them until they get back. Even with strong parental controls in place, kids should be allowed to take snapshots and selfies to remember their vacation, just like adults do.
    • It’s less-likely your photos will be copied without your permit, if you watermark them. You can batch-watermark your whole album at once using watermarking apps like Visual Watermark.
    • When you get back, set aside a little family time to pick out photos for an online “family album” to be shared. This isn’t just a good way to maintain a little privacy, it’s also a great family bonding activity. You might even consider using a photo printing service to create an album of vacation memories to keep on the coffee table.

    Vacations are stressful, at least until you get there and kick back. But by setting some ground rules, and making sure everyone sticks to them, you won’t have to worry about oversharing with the wrong people when you’re thousands of miles away. To learn more about phone safety apps for kids, sign up for Screen Time.

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