Ger­man po­lice warn par­ents over Face­book pic­tures of chil­dren

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

AGer­man po­lice force has warned par­ents against post­ing pho­to­graphs of their chil­dren to Face­book pub­licly.

The pic­tures could be copied and al­tered by pae­dophiles or sim­ply prove em­bar­rass­ing to the chil­dren in later life, Ha­gen Po­lice said, in a mes­sage on their own Face­book page.

Par­ents were ad­vised to en­sure that pri­vacy set­tings al­lowed only their Face­book friends to view the photos.

The ad­vice has been shared nearly 200,000 times.

A po­lice of­fi­cer and spokesman for Ha­gen Po­lice told the BBC that the re­sponse to the post had been “amaz­ing” and that they es­ti­mated it had been viewed by more than 12 mil­lion peo­ple.

“We want to tell all users that it is im­por­tant to be care­ful with ev­ery­thing they do on the in­ter­net,” said Hanki Ul­rich.

“It’s bet­ter to think twice in­ter­net never for­gets.”

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Mr Hanki added that the post had not been inspired by any re­cent crim­i­nal cases or pae­dophile ac­tiv­ity in Ha­gen.

Child pro­tec­tion char­ity the NSPCC said in a state­ment: “All par­ents should feel free to en­joy tak­ing photos of their chil­dren and shar­ing them with friends and fam­ily. How­ever, we should all be care­ful when post­ing photos online.

“We know that sex of­fend­ers are able to doc­tor in­no­cent fam­ily photos of chil­dren, and de­vel­op­ments in photo edit­ing soft­ware have made this eas­ier.

“So if par­ents do pub­lish photos of their chil­dren online, they should take care to en­sure that they have checked their pri­vacy set­tings and are happy about who can see and share them.”

The state­ment added that if par­ents were wor­ried a pho­to­graph of their child had fallen into the wrong hands, they should con­tact the In­ter­net Watch Foun­da­tion, the Child Ex­ploita­tion and Online Pro­tec­tion Cen­tre (Ceop) or NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

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