By Deb Wilkshire Sep 3rd, 2018
This Summer the weather has been exceptionally good ,providing lots of opportunities for trips out with family and of course in return many photo memories which we all love to show to friends and relatives.
These days it's so easy to share our images with those close to us without giving it a second thought, no need to get films developed and find a time to meet everyone (sometimes this can prove difficult when friends/family live so far apart) to share photos thanks to various social media platforms.
But have you ever thought who else can see these pictures?
Statistics report 42% of parents share photos of their children online , in a study by Ofcom last year.
Taking photos or videos of special moments and milestones of your children and posting them online can put these moments into the wrong hands of sexual predators as stated in a recent article by Wales Online 'If you share pictures of your children on social media you need to read this chilling warning' .
Sarah Williamson warned that 'offenders are accessing images such as children in swimwear on sites like Facebook, before downloading and sharing them... Whilst these images themselves are not explicit, but the comments on them by strangers sexualize them'.
However it is not just personal social media platforms that are at risk of being targeted but the websites of schools and clubs if they are open.
See full article in detail here ;
Whilst this is an alarming and terrifying thought there are some things you can do to make online life safer;
Ensure everyone on your social media profile is safe
Check your privacy settings -only friends can see your posts / profile is private .
It's important to recheck these settings after an update as they can return to being open.
Make sure privacy settings are enabled on sites such as YouTube and other video sharing, online gaming and streaming sites.
Check apps which your children are using , ensuring they don't record and repost content.
Ensure your child's social media (if they have one, most social media platforms have an age restriction of at least 13 years old. It is illegal for you or your child to lie in order to have an account) is private and talk with them about what they should and shouldn't be posting
Encourage an open dialogue with your children about online safety .
Learn about the apps and games your children are accessing, ensure privacy settings and parental controls are being used. Having an awareness is one of the first steps to keeping yourself /family safe.
Once a photo or video is posted online it creates what is known as a digital footprint which can be there forever and follow your child into adult life. Before posting, have a think about whether it would have a negative affect on your child later on in their life.
For information on our courses and tips on staying safe visit our website and Facebook page.
Think before you post.