Woman stole baby photo’s from Instagram and posted them as her own claiming they were sick or dead in a bid to get money.
She has been banned from using social media for two years.
Kati Ringer, 21, targeted two mothers at random and became abusive when challenged online, Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard, reports The Telegraph.
She was caught after an investigation by West Midlands Police and Leicestershire Police traced her IP address to a computer at her mother’s house in Norwich.
“She was using the picture of the victim’s baby reporting to people that the baby was premature, that she was seriously ill, struggling to pay for her treatment and funeral.”
When challenged by the first victim, she “became threatening towards her and made threats to rape and harm the child”.
She was sentenced to a two-year criminal behaviour order which bans her from using any social media accounts, passing any other person’s photo off as her own or asking any third party for a donation unless as a legitimate volunteer for a registered charity.
She was also handed a suspended jail term of 30 weeks, suspended for two years, ordered to pay costs and given a community order with a 30-day activity requirement.
Always remember. Prevention is the key
Dr. Deborah Gilboa, a parenting expert and TODAY contributor, urges parents to use the strictest privacy settings on social media sites to prevent people from stealing photos.
Never include children’s first or last names and other identifying information, such as street address, school or other details that could make it easier for predators to locate children. It is best to turn off location finder when sharing private info.
Leonie Smith, the Cyber Safety Lady, says photo stealing is still a very real threat. She has people contacting her regularly to tell her that they have, by chance, come across their photos being used on other sites. And that’s just the people who have actually found them.
“Stolen photos is a massive operation, and one of the reasons is because of fake accounts,” she says. “So Twitter, Instagram are absolutely loaded with fake accounts and for every fake account they need a fake photo. So where do they get them from? People’s profiles.”
Leonie gives these tips on being safe with your private photos of your children:
- Ask yourself: why are you sharing your photos in the first place? What are you trying to gain from it? If the answer isn’t about how many ‘likes’ you might get and is more about sharing with your family and friends, then there are other ways you can do it without risking them becoming so public.
- Create a private group: On Facebook, you can create a private group for selected family and friends where you can share your photos safely. Invite people to be part of the group under the proviso that they are not to share your photos elsewhere.
- Email the photos directly to people you want to share with.
- Send hard copies to elderly relatives. Even family and friends who have social media accounts might enjoy receiving some good old-fashioned snail mail from you!
- Make a point to read and understand the privacy rules on each social media site you are signing up for. Go back and re-read the rules every few months, as things can change without you even knowing.
- If you do decide to continue posting photos of your child online, go back and delete them every few months. People lose their social media accounts all of the time through hacking, so make sure you don’t store up too many photos.
Do you worry about your images getting stolen online?
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