Thu, 23 Aug, 2018Over60

Aussie parents still sharing unsafe images of their children online

Aussie parents still sharing unsafe images of their children online

Australian parents are still sharing unsafe images of their children online despite knowing the risks, new research from McAfee founds.

The cybersecurity company, which surveyed 1000 parents of children aged from one month to 16 years old, found 30 percent of parents post a photo or video of their child at least once a week on their social media accounts, with 12 percent posting at least once a day.

Alex Merton-McCann, McAfee's Cybermum in Australia, says parents need to understand the risks associated with sharing images of their children online.

"As parents, we have educated ourselves about the risks of posting images of our children online, but for some reason we are choosing to ignore them. For many, the desire to show off our lives online is still more important. I strongly advise parents to consider what they are posting on social media and how it will impact their kids both now and in the long-term,” she says.

Half of parents surveyed admit that they have or would share a photo of their child in their school uniform, despite the fact this gives away personally identifiable information.

Merton-McCann advises parents to start thinking carefully about social media use.

"Setting ground rules is important – don't be afraid to approach family and friends if they've posted pictures online of your children that you're uncomfortable with. It's more than reasonable for you to ask them to remove the photos if they are inappropriate or put their safety at risk," she says.

"With tweens and teens especially, it's always best to get their permission before posting pictures of them online. If they do say no, it's important to respect their decision, however cute the photo may be. Remember that everything you post about your child online will form part of their online reputation, so it's important to consider everything you're posting as it will have an impact on them later on.

"Once your kids are on social media themselves, encourage them to regularly check the images and posts they are being tagged in and remove any that may cause them embarrassment in the future, or give away any personal information."