Keep photos of your children off social media sites with this advice from Catherine Newman, Real Simple's etiquette expert.

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Q. I am uncomfortable about pictures of my four-year-old daughter being put online. However, I find that whenever we’re at birthday parties, people don’t ask permission before taking pictures of her and posting them to social-media sites. How should I handle this the next time it happens?

Christina DeLuca

Boca Raton, Florida

A. The Internet is a strange and constantly shifting territory, and your worry about having your daughter’s photos posted is completely reasonable. Once pictures get online, it’s very hard to get them off again, and you can’t control where they’ll end up.

I understand that you feel awkward about expressing this concern. The key is to be straightforward about it. The next time you see someone snapping photos, you could say, “I know I’m being paranoid, but we don’t like to have pictures of our child on the Internet. If you’re planning to post any, would you please be sure that our daughter isn’t in them?” Will they think you’re acting uptight? Possibly. But another person’s opinion of you is less important than being true to what you believe is right for your family.

Catherine Newman

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