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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Back to School: Parents warned against posting photos of kids online amid kidnapping concerns

Parents posting photos of their children on the first day of school on social media might reveal critical details about them.


With just days left before the start of the new school academic year, excited parents have been warned not share or post photos of their children online as it may compromise their safety and reveal critical details about them.  

Thousand of pupils are expected to start Grade R and Grade 1, while others will be going back to school on Wednesday.

With the rapid increase in kidnappings, sharing details online and on social media and with the advancement of technology has become a serious concern.

Watch parents urged not to share photos of their children online

Privacy

Adrian Standford, the Southern African Chief Technology Officer at cybersecurity company ESET, told eNCA that posting photos of their children on the first day of school might reveal critical details about them.

“When you post online, you are effectively removing some elements of privacy from your Childrens lives, and it might seem harmless at first, but we never quite know how our children might feel about this in the future.

“They might find the content embarrassing, or it might lead to them being a victim of cyberbullying. There is a lot of bad things that can happen,” Standford said.

Unesco has highlighted that school violence and bullying, including cyberbullying, is widespread and affects many children and adolescents globally.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Meta unveils #EbaSafeOnline Comic Book in SA for parents and children

Online safety

Last year, Meta launched its first youth and safety comic book, #EbaSafeOnline, in partnership with Ethnikids Publishers in an effort to encourage online safety.

Meta said the comic book is a powerful tool dedicated to empowering parents and teens on how to navigate social media safely.

The characters in the comic book share issues that the youth are facing in a bid to have open communication between parents and their children.

Google

Search giant Google also updated its platforms to provide users with more control and privacy of personal information on search.

The updated Results about you, new SafeSearch, and updated policies on personal explicit images are the tools that are now available for safeguarding personal information online for South Africans.

The Results about you tool, launched last year, has received a significant update. This tool enables individuals to easily request the removal of search results that contain the user’s phone number, house address or email, right from Google app or through Search.

Siya Madikane, Communications and Public Affairs Manager for Google in South Africa, said protecting the personal information of users on the internet is a priority for Google.

ALSO READ: Google’s new privacy tool updates ensure internet safety for South Africans

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