At the expense of this little charmer’s family, we’re all getting a much-needed reminder—the Internet is a very, very public place. And once any bit of information is posted to the web, it becomes essentially impossible to control.

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Pretty much everyone who got online this month saw these pictures floating around on Facebook. Cute, right?

Right. But did you know that the pictures were originally  and innocently posted over a year ago by someone in the little boy’s family? And then over a year later a complete stranger came across them and, whether “jokingly” or not, called them his own, created a meme-like post, and sent them on their viral way, even going so far as to ask for money from viewers. All at the expense of this cute little family he didn't even know.

I want to be surprised, but this stuff happens more often than you’d think. And it can happen to you, too.

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Take it from this kid’s mom, who says:

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Lessons to be learned? You bet.

1. Be careful what you post online and be aware of what your kids are posting. No matter how innocently you intend it, other’s may be lurking to use your info, whatever it may be, to their gain.

And 2. (Now, I know this will shock you all but…) not everything you see on the Internet is real.

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