Common hashtags parents use on kids' photos can put them at risk on social media, nonprofit says
LOS ANGELES - You may think posting adorable photos of children playing in the pool or your baby getting a bath are harmless, but one organization warns that common hashtags are goldmines for child predators.
The Child Rescue Coalition shared a list containing more than 100 common hashtags that pedophiles often search to find photos of children. Some of this include #bathtime, #kidsbathing and #pottytrainingfun, among others.
The Florida-based nonprofit, which rescues children from sexual abuse by building technology for law enforcement, stated that 90 percent of children have been featured on social media in some form by the age of 2.
While you may have good intentions of posting a photo of your child, the coalition also said that 89 percent of parents haven't checked their social media privacy settings in more than a year. That can lead to easier access for child predators.
"With pedophiles frequently browsing common parenting and child-related hashtags on social sharing platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we have to be extra careful in the content we are sharing and the information we are providing in conjunction with those photos and videos," the coalition's website stated.
The coalition also noted that location sharing can be "one of the most dangerous device settings of all" because it gives predators an idea of where they can find and stalk children.
The next time you consider sharing a photo of your child on any social platform, the coalition urges parents to think before they post and ask themselves the following questions.
Why am I sharing this?
Would I want someone else to share an image like this of me?
Would I want this image of my child viewed and downloaded by predators on the Dark Web?
Is this something I want to be part of my child's digital life?
"Once you've posted your child's photo, you can't have total control over it, so think twice about sharing something that may seem cute or innocent," the coalition said.
To see the full list of hashtags that are common for predators to search, you can click here.