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Family photo predators: Tempted to post pictures of your children’s milestones on social media

Sep 5, 2018 by

As many parents plan to share images of their children returning to school this September, experts revealed the dangers that many parents are unaware of including stalking and burglary.

    • Many parents plan to share snaps of their child going to school this week
    • Will Geddes says parents are unaware of how their child’s photo may be used
    • He claims school badges in photos can lead predators to your child’s location
    •  Sajid Javid says at least 80,000 paedophiles are active in the UK on social media
    • Experts say back-to-school photos can open up families to burglary
  • Nicola, 33, from Kent recalls her daughter being stalked at just two years old

Early September: the time of year when social media feeds are filled with photographs of grinning children wearing spotless uniforms on the first day of the new school year.

This week, over half — 53 per cent — of UK parents will plan to share snaps of their youngsters on the doorsteps of their homes as they set off to school, attracting comments like: ‘Aw, so cute’ and ‘How time flies.’

Yet when four-year-old Lucy Lewis starts Reception this week, her mother Nicola won’t be posting any pictures of this milestone moment.

When Lucy was just two years old, she was stalked by a stranger who collected all the happy family snapshots Nicola had posted online — and re-posted them on more than ten fake social media accounts, interspersed with shots of a pornographic model of the same name.

Experts revealed the dangers many parents are unaware of when posting photographs of their children on social media. Gemma Hawkins, 31, (pictured with her children Lilly and Teddy) recalls the shock of discovering images of her son being used without her permission on Instagram

Mum of one Nicola, 33, from Bromley, Kent, says: ‘I used to post sweet snaps of Lucy in a new dress or playing with her toys on my Twitter feed, which only had about 200 followers, including lots of friends and family.

‘Then one day I got a notification that a complete stranger was re-tweeting my photos. When I looked, this person’s feed was full of them. I couldn’t tell who it was as the profile picture was a cartoon character, the location was given as Canada, and they used weird, made-up names.

‘When I sent a message asking why this person was using my child’s image in such a disturbing way, they never replied.’

Panicked, Nicola, who works as an artist, blocked the account only to find more kept popping up over the next month, on both Twitter and Facebook, with some using her child as the header picture — until eventually she had to call in the police.

Nicola says: ‘You think: “There are billions of pictures of kids out there, why would anyone take an unhealthy interest in mine?” But then it happens to you. It was terrifying. I felt like I was being watched constantly.’

Source: Family photo predators: Tempted to post pictures of your children’s milestones on social media? | Daily Mail Online

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