AFP warns parents about posting back to school photos on social media

Australian Federal Police have issued a warning to proud parents planning on sharing what they consider to be innocent photos of their children dressed in their school uniforms on social media.

The warning comes as children prepare to head back to the classroom, with this year marking the first year of school for many youngsters.

“Back-to-school is a proud time for parents and children, some who are wearing school uniforms for the first time,” AFP Commander for the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation Hilda Sirec said.


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“Parents and carers can continue to take those wonderful happy snaps and post them online.

“However, we do urge people who are sharing those images to make sure they’re using secure privacy settings on social media and only sharing them with people they know and trust.”

The AFP has warned that child protection investigators continue to regularly seize images of children in the collections of online child sex offenders.

“We have seen some offenders go to great lengths to gain access to children and in some instances, online grooming has started with information that parents and carers have shared online,’’ Commander Sirec said.

“The more information available about a child online, the easier it can be for offenders to build a profile to groom them, or even to groom parents in a bid to access information about their children.

Parents are also being told to avoid posting images of their kids at the front of homes that can identify a street or street number.

“You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and give them a photo album of your children and tell them their names or location,” Commander Sirec said.

“We all need to remember that in the digital age, that is the equivalent of posting information and images of children online without the appropriate safeguards.”