GARDAÍ have urged parents and guardians of schoolchildren to take precautions when posting online photographs of their child returning to school to prevent paedophiles and other criminals exploiting them.
Limerick Garda Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch said she received a couple of photos from proud parents of their children in uniform.
“That’s fine but some parents also post these photos to social media platforms, and unfortunately, online abusers are browsing the same platforms for any information they may use to contact and possibly exploit children.”
Sergeant Leetch advised parents to take a number of security steps if posting such photos on social media.
“If you are posting a photo of your child in their school uniform online, restrict who has access to the images and where they are posted,” she added.
“Also, sanitise the images of identifying content. This means you should blur the school logo and make sure the child’s name and address is not visible on their school bag.”
Sergeant Leetch added that as “an additional layer of protection, you could turn off the location data on your phone” which would offer some protection against criminals having information about locations their child frequents, particularly the location of their school or home.