Celebrity mom Elizabeth Banks talks about how to share your family photos and videos without sacrificing your privacy.

The internet is a big scary place, especially for moms. There are no rules about what's personal and private versus what is for public consumption. It's dealer's choice! You decide. And because I have a young son, and I am the decider for all things related to him, I decided it's best to keep pictures of him off the internet. This is difficult, because he is adorable and I am really proud of him. Also, because I'm me, his picture gets taken without my consent. But some day, he will be able to decide for himself what he wants out there and it may not be that naked picture of him in a basket of puppies (which does not exist, sadly, it's just a mother's dream -- in black and white). So I keep our photos and videos private.

Many parents put their family pictures and videos on Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites without thinking twice about privacy settings. Sure, your kid could become a YouTube sensation or a meme, but do you want that? If you don't mind, or even enjoy the publicity it might bring, then good on you. But if you don't want to court unwanted attention, do what you can to keep your private family videos and photos private.

Check your privacy settings

Check, double-check and triple-check your privacy settings before uploading anything online. If your Facebook is completely private (only accessible to friends and family), you still need to make sure you mark each upload to be seen just by your Facebook Friends.

Use the mail

Good old-fashioned snail mail is the way I send pictures to my son's grandparents. Safe and more their speed anyway. I know the photos will be for their eyes only, and there's something great about holding actual photos rather than just checking them out online.

Take advantage of Skype

If your relatives or friends live across the country, stay connected and let them see your kids through video calls on Skype and other services. The video isn't saved online, so there's no risk of it getting out, and they'll still get to see your little ones. Skype is great when you have to travel and be away from your children too.

Leave us a comment^ Would you mind if your kid became a YouTube sensation or his photo turned into a popular meme?

Read more about kids and privacy: StayClassy: My Kid's a Meme >>

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Topics: internet safety

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Maria Mora August 22, 2012
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I've never skyped with my kids' grandparents. What a great idea!