Baby Safety OnLine

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Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 10:38am

Are you putting your kids safety at risk by posting pictures on social media sites?

If you load pictures of your kids on to a social media web site experts say you may be putting them at risk for identity theft.

Like any proud mom, Lauren DeArmas posts her daughter's pictures on Facebook. Her baby photos have been online since the day little zoe was born.

Lauren says "sometimes I just take a picture and I put it up because I thought it was the cutest thing of the day."

with a two-month-old, Lauren didn't think she'd be dropping photo clues that could put her daughter at risk.

Lauren says "it doesn't cross your mind about that, taking an infant's identity, what can you do with that?"

Florida State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle says "right away you have a name of the baby and you have a date of birth of the baby, now from that they can take and create an identity if they want."

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle says the elderly and children are actually prime targets for identity theft, even infants.

Katherine says "those criminals out there have got now a whole new way in which to create an identity, to use an existing identity to get credit and then go and commit more sophisticated crimes."

Investigators say child identity theft is more prevalent than child pornography and stalking.

Nationally, the Federal Trade Commission reports nine million people become identity theft victims each year. But no one really tracks how often it happens to children.

Fernandez-Rundle dedicated a cyber crimes unit just to deal with internet crimes, including child stalking and pornography.

Katherine says "it's very important to restrict who has access to your facebook, to myspace and all those other outlets."

Here's how to protect your family when posting pictures online: avoid school uniforms, don't list birth dates or specific locations, and avoid backgrounds that are easily identified.

The latest baby picture Lauren posted is this funny face. She keeps her profile private to limit the risk the wrong eyes will see it.
 

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