Best Practices for Students Who Share Photos Online

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January 28, 2017

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Table of Contents

Best Practices for Students Who Share Photos Online an Expert Guest Blog

Safety experts share their best tips for sharing photos online[/caption]With 90% of Instagram’s users being under the age of 35, there’s no doubt that posting pictures online and on social media is a popular pastime for many students. Since so many teens are posting pictures of themselves online, many parents are wondering how they can keep their kids safe and smart on social media. So, we asked 6 safety experts to share their favorite tips, best practices, and advice for teens who post pictures on social media.

1. Showcase your professional skills

Peter Schroeder headshot
Peter Schroeder

Peter Schroeder, RendrFX

When sharing photos online, consider it to be public information. When I hire people, I always do a basic search through social media channels to see if there is any cause for concern.

Just remember when you send a photo out into the wild, it is out of your control where it goes. Consider using your public facing social media accounts to showcase your professional skills and have private accounts for your more personal matters.

2. Give students the tools they need to be smart online

Robin Kelman Best Practices for Students Who Share Photos Online
Robin Kelman

Robin Kelman, Sylvia Marketing & PR

Give students the tools they need to be smart online. Let them know that the things they put online are there for the duration, there is no retracting once it goes live on the internet. As far as photos, they are for everyone to see, so if they don’t want this they shouldn’t post it.

I suggest sharing experiences with students, allowing them to research online to see how far back you can look into someone’s past and get viable information.

3. Remember: photos are public as soon as they are published online

Alyse Ainsworth,

Before a student (or anyone) posts a photo on social media they should ask themselves this important question:

Are you comfortable with anyone in the world seeing this photo?

Anything you share online lasts forever so you should seriously consider every outcome. How would you feel if this picture was shown to your teacher or your grandma? Would you feel comfortable if this picture ended up on the homepage of a website? If not, then don’t share it. When you post a photo over social media you are making that photo and any information possibly tied to the photo public. Anyone can now save, share, and use your photo.

4. Judge photos before making them your personal history

Bill Pinkel headshot
Bill Pinkel

Bill Pinkel,

When considering sharing a photo on social media, remember that it has the potential to last forever. Even though you can always delete the content, someone else could have taken a screenshot or republished it anywhere. The content could even have been cached in the Internet Archive, where a snapshot of it can be hosted forever.

Is this photo something you’re going to be proud to share the rest of your life? Would you be comfortable with college administrators, family, and employers viewing this photo? If you have to hesitate to answer, don’t make the photo part of your personal history.

5. Use social media for brand building and limit access to your photos

Justin Lavelle, PeopleLooker

Start to think of your social media pages as brand-building tools for yourself. You’re telling a story about who you are for the world to see. Colleges and future employers can and do check your pages, so think before you post last weekend’s party picture. Photos of hobbies, family, friends, outings, and sports activities are all fine to post, just keep it clean and family-friendly.

Once a photo is posted, it is a permanent footprint for the world to see and anyone can lift a photo to do as they wish with it. So photos from your high school and college years can come back to haunt you later in life if you’re not careful. Limit who can see your photos by using privacy controls on all of your social media pages. There’s no need for every social media user to have access to your photos.

6. Don’t reveal any personal information

Furqan Tafseer headshot
Furqan Tafseer

Furqan Tafseer, PureVPN

Sharing pictures on social media is fun and there’s no denying that, but there are few things which should be considered before posting your pictures on social media. You should make sure that the picture you are posting does not have anything which can reveal your personal information. No matter how awesome your picture is, if it has any of your personal information or sensitive information, please do not post it. Also, make sure to assess who you are sharing your picture with because not all of your friends and followers truly are your friends!


Helping students to remember that anything and everything they post online is public is a tough job. No matter who they think a stranger is or how protected/locked-down their social media profiles are, anything they post online must be considered public.

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