Parents are being urged not to post photos of their children on their first day of school to keep them safe from online predators.
The Australian Federal Police says images of children in school uniform, showing their name or location, can be used by offenders to groom parents and children.
Photos posted online of a child’s first day at school can reveal a lot of personal information.
Commander of the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation and Child Protection Operations Hilda Sirec says the AFP regularly seizes online images of children from child sex offenders.
The back-to-school period was a good time to implement safe online practices, she said.
“Children in their uniform on their first day of school are treasured photos in many family albums,” Commander Sirec said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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.”
People involved in community or school social media pages featuring children also needed to consider the types of images being shared and who could view them.
“There are simple steps that parents and carers can take to have more control over who can access their images and minimise the chance of inappropriate contact,” Commander Sirec said.
“If sharing content of children online, check the privacy settings and make sure that your social media accounts are using the most secure settings possible.”
Parents can shield further their children from predators by blurring photos which show logos or crests and taking steps to ensure they don’t reveal the name of the school.