With Australian children starting to return to school, parents have been urged not to share their children’s first day of school photos online without using maximum privacy settings.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP), gave the warning on Wednesday.
While children at their first day of school in their uniforms are treasured memories for many families, the photos recording those moments could also be used by offenders to build a profile and groom parents and children, AFP said in a statement.
There are some simple steps parents or carers can follow to prevent their children from becoming victims of online grooming, according to AFP.
Trying to avoid sharing photos or videos in school uniform or containing private information such as an address, age, the full name of children was among security tips given by AFP.
“There’s no reason why parents and carers cannot continue to take those wonderful happy snaps and post them online.
“However, we are urging parents and carers who are sharing those images to make sure they’re using secure privacy settings and only sharing images with people they know and trust,” AFP Commander of the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation and Child Protection Operations Hilda Sirec said.
“With children spending more time online during the pandemic, now it is even more important for the Australian community to educate themselves about online safety,” Sirec added.