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Parents are being urged to think carefully before posting back to school photos online, warning the images could be used by predators for grooming or creating child exploitation material.

While many parents share images of their kids’ first day on social media, the Australian Federal Police says parents and carers need to take precautions before uploading any images of their children in their school uniforms.

“We have seen instances of otherwise innocent images being used in child exploitation material or offenders using information from photos, such as school uniforms, to identify and groom children,” Commander Schneider said.

“While these incidents are rare, they do happen, which is why we are urging families to be proactive with online safety and keep their information safe as the 2024 school year gets underway.

“We are urging parents and carers to do a quick privacy check on their social media platforms before they post their back-to-school photos to add another layer of security.

“Parents can also easily edit the logos of their children’s uniforms to conceal where they attend school as an extra precaution.”

Here’s what you can do to check your privacy:

  • Checking your privacy settings and making sure your social media accounts are secure and set to private or ‘friends only’
  • Checking the privacy settings on the device you are using
  • If another person is taking photos of your child, having a discussion around how the photos will be used and how they will be shared
  • Ensuring the background doesn’t give away your address or location. Don’t post your location or ‘check in’
  • Keeping your child’s uniform logo hidden
  • Keeping your child’s personal information including full name and age private.

ThinkUKnow has also released a quick reference guide to help parents tighten the security around their social media posts.

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  • No photos posted of anyone these days – we are all anonymous. No-one wants to get scammed or have our children stalked because of an innocent photo.

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  • Group chat photos to family and friends is the way to go. Social media just freaks me out. Friends ask why I don’t post a lot about my kids. My reply is I’d rather have me friend see my kids in person. Too many creeps in this world.

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  • I prefer to send photos directly to my family and friends and not through any social media accounts.

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  • I make sure I blur out the school logos when posting. I have definitely stopped sharing as many photos of the kids over the last few years

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  • We think it’s safer just not to post photos of our kids. Ever.

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  • This warning goes round every year! What is wrong with parents these days that they don’t listen

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  • I never put photos of my kids on social. Can’t trust anyone.

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  • Nothing short of Sick .You can’t trust anybody Priests Policeman Politicians that’s just start of the Sickos . Thank god for the jails and the way they are dealt with when they arrive

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  • Good advice from the police.

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  • Our local police echoed this same message at a school talk for parents /care givers recently, as well as some other internet and online safety advice. Horrible to think of the predators out there looking for this sort of information, but forewarned is forearmed, as they say.


    • Great that the police visit schools to share this advice !

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  • Nothing is safe in this online world. It’s very sad.


    • Yes it’s sad we have to be so careful

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  • What a horrible crime that we have to protect our kids from.

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  • I’m a grandmother and I used to love posting photos of my grandchildren but have stopped using social media altogether. I find it really sad that it’s come to this. We never had these problems when my children were little. But now it’s rife with sicko’s getting the photos and doing goodness knows what with them. So now you just have to be so careful with what you post or not post at all. Sad, very sad situation. ????

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  • Very important info! The last thing you want to do is make your child’s location known. As the list includes, the worst are pictures taken in full uniform out front of the house. Too many details!

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  • We just choose not to post photos of our kids at all.

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