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New Survey Reveals Parents Ignoring Their Own Advice When It Comes To Sharing Images Online

The results of the survey are in stark contrast to parent's concerns regarding online risks such as stalking, cyberbullying and child grooming. If you are affected by cyberbullying or online abuse, follow the links throughout the article to our various support services.

A recent survey carried out by Internet security company McAfee has revealed an alarming trend in how parents are regarding their own children’s online privacy. Despite nearly three quarters (71%) of parents surveyed agreeing that online photos could end up in the wrong hands, a worrying 58% believe it’s their right to post images without the consent of their child. With a further 50% saying they have or would post a photo of their child wearing their school uniform.

“Posting photos and videos on social media is a great way for parents to share what’s going on in their lives with loved ones. However, the survey reveals parents are not giving enough consideration to what they post online and how it could harm their children.”

Gary Davis, Chief of Consumer Security, McAfee

These results are in stark contrast to parents concerns regarding other online risks such as stalking, cyberbullying and child grooming, all of which could pose a potential threat to a child’s safety, should their privacy be breached. Researchers commented on how parents were disregarding their own concerns by posting images of their children online, with 58% not even considering if their child would consent to their image being posted online. Despite their concerns, researcher were encouraged to see that 70% of parents had only shared pictures of their children on private social media accounts.

“Simply asking your child if it is ok to share an image would be a huge step in the right direction, and it’s the perfect opportunity for parents to let children know that their privacy is understood and respected. This approach will help to open healthy conversations regarding online privacy and security within the home environment.”

Dan Raisbeck, Co-Founder, The Cybersmile Foundation

While its clear that the majority of parents are aware of the risks to their children’s safety online, the survey showed that only 23% of parents believed that posting an image of their child could lead to anxiety or stress, and only 30% believing that their child could be embarrassed by a shared image. The emotional side effects seem to be less understood, or less thought about than the more obvious risks.

If you or your family are affected by any kind of cyberbullying or online abuse we can help! Visit our Cyberbullying and Online Abuse Help Center or learn more about our Total Access Support to find out how we can best help you with your particular situation. For further information about Cybersmile and the work we do, please explore the suggestions below.

What are your thoughts on the findings of this survey? Share your views with us by contacting us or tweet us @CybersmileHQ.