Jennifer Garner wants to protect her children's privacy as much as she can.

The 47-year-old actress has three children - Violet, 13, Seraphina, 10, and Samuel, seven - with her ex-husband Ben Affleck, and has said she works hard to keep them out of the public eye as much as possible, because she knows how ''gnarly'' it can be for young people on social media.

She said: ''It's so gnarly to be a kid now. I guard my kids' privacy as much as I possibly can, and I've never posted pictures of them on Instagram. I used to refuse to say their names during interviews - but everyone knows their names! I would just say 'my eldest,' which I still do out of habit a lot.

''I'm sure there are times my kids would really love to see themselves reflected on my social media in a fun way and to have the attention they would get from that. But I've fought too hard against it. It would feel hypocritical.''

The 'Peppermint' actress doesn't want to cast ''judgement'' on parents who do share pictures of their brood online, but says her family have been ''completely hounded'' for so long that privacy has become paramount.

Speaking to InStyle magazine for their 25th anniversary special issue, she added: ''There's no implied judgment of people who do put their kids up there; I just don't think most kids have been hounded in the way that mine were when they were little. We were completely hounded 24/7 for 10 solid years, and it changes you. You no longer take things like being able to go to your mailbox for granted. I even stopped going to the farmers market because I was being photographed there constantly. I realised, 'I'm ruining the farmers market for everyone; this is selfish.' ''