The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has issued a startling warning to parents as many kids head back to school.
With many children starting the new school year today (January 27), loads of mums and dads will be tempted to upload a cute picture of them in their uniform.
But the AFP has urged them to avoid posting those images onto social media over fears it can attract child sex predators.
In a statement, the AFP said: "Images with children in school uniform, their name or indicators of their location in the background can be used by offenders to build a profile and groom parents and children.
"The AFP is continuing to regularly seize images of children in the collections of online child sex offenders."
The federal authority says while the photos might seem innocuous, it can actually give predators a lot of information about the child.
AFP Commander of the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation and Child Protection Operations Hilda Sirec said this warning also extends to community groups that might post the same pictures.
She added that if you really want to post that photo, then make sure you have the strictest settings on who can view your content.
"Some offenders go to great lengths in order to gain access to children and the AFP is seeing instances of online grooming starting from the information that parents and carers are sharing online," Commander Sirec said.
"There are simple steps that parents and carers can take to have more control over who can access their images and minimise the chance of inappropriate contact.
"If sharing content of children online, check the privacy settings and make sure that your social media accounts are using the most secure settings possible.
"It is more important than ever to ensure parents, carers and our young people are educated about online safety. The increase of children being online during the pandemic year has also meant offenders have more opportunities to target potential victims."
Things to keep in mind when posting any content with your kids:
It's a small price to ensure child predators don't get information from you.
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