We discourage parents from allowing too much personal information out about their child actors out in the media and online. All it takes is one slip, one instance where a child is identified by their city or school or local activities, for that information to be out in the public arena forever.
Really? Forever? Yes, once it’s out there, it’s there. Any photographs, addresses, personal hobbies, pet’s names, friend’s names–if they appear in print online or in a publication, the information will eventually be searchable. In some cases, it may show up as a first entry on a Google Search of your child’s name. It can encourage stalkers, people can show up on your front lawn or at a swim meet.
What if it’s out of your control? You would be surprised at how much control you do have over your child’s name and image. Talk to your child’s teachers, school administrators and leaders of any activities your child is involved with and tell them under no circumstances should any information be posted online or given to the media without your permission.
We have had members who were stalked, whose children are following on Twitter and Facebook, and who have been harassed to the extreme by strangers who found out who they are and where to find them. One of our members had to move after a single guest star role on a TV series.
It usually starts with you and a careless agreement for publicity or a post made on a social media account. Just one time and the information is forever.
What can you to do maintain your child actor’s privacy? Think about using a stage name that won’t identify your family name. If your phone number and address are listed in the local phone book or any directories, have it removed. Consider using only a cell phone or unlisted number. Don’t put personal information, including your city or even state location on IMDB, and leave off your child’s birthday. Set up Google Alerts for daily search results on your child’s name. Most important, think about all possible ramifications of giving an interview or posting text about or images of your child.