73% of Toddlers Have Digital Footprint

Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of children under age 2 have some kind of digital footprint, such as online albums or e-mail addresses, says AVG.

Research by the security firm revealed that 37 percent of newborns have an online life from the day they are born. Furthermore, nearly a quarter (23 percent) of children have their pre-birth scans uploaded to the net by their parents.

AVG said 7 percent of children under two have an e-mail address while 5 percent have a social networking profile, both of which are created by their parents.

Seven in ten mothers surveyed said the ability to share pictures with family and friends was the motivation for posting information and photos of their children online, while 18 percent admitted to simply following their peers.

"It's a sobering thought that while a 30-year-old has an online footprint stretching back at most 10 to 15 years, the vast majority of children today have online presence by the time they are 2 years old -- a presence that will be built on throughout their whole lives," said JR Smith, CEO of AVG.

Smith said that while it's completely understandable that proud parents want to upload and share images of very young children with friends and families, they should consider two important points before uploading content to the web.

"First of all, you are creating a digital history for a human being that will follow him or her around for the rest of their life. What kind of footprint do you actually want to start for your child, and what will they think about the information you've uploaded in future?" said Smith.

"Secondly, it reinforces the need for parents to be aware of the privacy settings they have set on their social network profiles. Otherwise, you may be sharing your baby's picture not only your friends and family but with the whole online world."

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  • See also: Google: Digital footprint will haunt web users for life

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