Canadian Parents Ignore Their Own Concerns About Sharing Images Of Their Children Online: McAfee

McAfee unveiled its latest survey, The Age of Consent, which found 15 per cent of Canadian parents post a photo or video of their child at least once a day on their social media accounts with four per cent posting four or more times per day. Most parents identified the following concerns associated with sharing images online including pedophilia (53 per cent), stalking (48 per cent), kidnapping (42 per cent) and cyberbullying (38 per cent), but many (40 per cent) don’t even consider if their child would consent to their image being posted online.

Despite voicing these worries, this concern doesn’t translate into action, as many parents admit to still including children’s personal information and private details in online images. For example, a quarter of the parents surveyed admit that they have or would share a photo of their child in their school uniform despite the risk of giving away personal information. Yet, it’s comforting to see the majority (74 per cent) of parents are only sharing photos of children on private social media accounts. This is certainly a good first step, but there is much more needed to be done to ensure parents are protecting their children’s identity.

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McAfee shared some tips for parents looking to share photos of their children.

Parental Tips for Safe Sharing

Watch out for geo-tagging. Many social networks will tag a user’s location when a photo is uploaded. Parents should ensure this feature is turned off to avoid disclosing their location. This is especially important when posting photos away from home.

Lock down privacy settings. Parents should only share photos and other social media posts with their intended audience. Services like Facebook and Instagram have features that allow posts to be shared only with confirmed connections, but everything posted on a social network should be treated as if it’s public.

Set ground rules with friends, family and children. Be clear with friends and family about guidelines when posting images. These rules can help avoid unwanted situations where a family member has shared photos without explicit permission. Don’t forget that these ground rules should also apply to parents to protect the children in the images from embarrassment, anxiety or even cyberbullying.

Take control of your personal information. As the number of reported data breaches continue to rise, so too does the possibility of identity theft. For children who are too young for a credit card, parents should freeze their credit to avoid any unauthorized use. An identity theft protection solution like McAfee Identity Theft Protection can help consumers proactively protect their identity and keep their personal information secured from misuse.

Survey Methodology

McAfee commissioned OnePoll to conduct a survey of 1,000 parents of children aged 1 month to 16 years old in Canada.

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