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Posting Your Kids' Pics on Facebook May Put Them at Risk for Digital Kidnapping

The Short of It

Most of us think nothing of posting pictures of our cute kiddos on Facebook. But this seemingly innocent habit may put your child at risk for being digitally kidnapped.

The Lowdown

Digital kidnapping is the latest form of identity theft, and it can happen to any parent who posts pictures of kids online. Perpetrators will "steal" photos of children on social media and then claim to be their parents, even giving them fictitious new names.

It happened to mom blogger Lindsey Paris, who saw online a photo of her son a complete stranger was claiming as her own.

"She was pretending that he was her own and commenting on when was he going to start teething. Her friends were saying that they loved his hair. She was treating him as her own and that was the most petrifying thing. I didn't know people did this," Paris told Yahoo Parenting about the 2012 incident.

The Upshot

So how do you get your child's identity back if it's stolen online? Facebook has a stolen photos and videos reporting policy, but that's just one site. There's Instagram and a host of other places where digital kidnappers can share pictures that are not theirs.

According to Paris, digital kidnapping technically is not a crime. In her case, a forceful request letter got the photo taken down. She and other digital kidnapping victims now use a privacy app called KidsLink that protects their photos from being shared by people they don't know.

You can learn more about the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule here.

Does this disturbing new trend make you think twice about sharing pictures of your kids online? Tell us below.

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