Market Overview

New McAfee Survey Finds Parents Ignore Their Own Concerns of Sharing Images of Their Children Online

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With Back to School in Full Swing, Half of Parents will not
Consider the Dangers of Sharing Photos of their Child Wearing their
School Uniform

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nearly three quarters (71%) of parents agree that online photos could
    end up in the wrong hands
  • Despite the concerns, most parents (58%) believe it's their right to
    post images without the consent of their child, and 50% have or would
    post a photo of their child wearing their school uniform
  • Forty percent of parents have considered that posting images could
    embarrass their child, but think the child won't care or will get over
    it

Today McAfee, the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company, announced
results from its latest survey, The Age of Consent, and found 30% of
parents post a photo or video of their child at least once a day on
their social media accounts with 12% posting four or more times per day
– showing the extent of child exposure on the web. Most parents
identified the following concerns associated with sharing images online
including pedophilia (49%), stalking (48%), kidnapping (45%) and
cyberbullying (31%), but many (58%) don't even consider if their child
would consent to their image being posted online. In fact, 22% of
parents think their child is too young to decide whether their image
should be shared online, and another 19% think it should always be left
up to the parent to decide.

However, despite voicing these worries this concern doesn't translate
into action, as many admit to still including children's personal
information and private details in online images. For example, half of
the parents surveyed admit that they have or would share a photo of
their child in their school uniform despite the risk of giving away
personal information. Yet, it's comforting to see the majority (70%) of
parents are only sharing photos of children on private social media
accounts. This is certainly a good first step, but there is much more
needed to be done to ensure parents are protecting their children's
identity.

"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," said Gary Davis,
chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. "However, the survey
reveals parents are not giving enough consideration to what they post
online and how it could harm their children. If shared images get into
the wrong hands, they can be used to gather information like birth
dates, home address, school, or even the child's full name which could
lead to cyberbullying or even identity theft."

While it's clear that parents are worried about physical risks to their
children's safety, results indicate less concern about the emotional
risks. Only 23% of parents are concerned that posting an image of their
child online could lead to worry or anxiety, and only 30% considered
that their child could be embarrassed by the image. Emotional side
effects should not be discounted. According to a survey
from ComRes
, more than one in four children between 10 and 12 years
old feel embarrassed, anxious or worried when their parents post
pictures of them online. Interestingly, it appears moms consider the
embarrassing side effect more than dads, with 45% of dads assuming their
children will get over any embarrassing content compared to just 14% of
moms.

"As a parent I know how important it is to immortalize those big moments
like the first day of school with pictures," said Andrea Smith, tech
expert. "The desire to share those precious pictures with friends and
family via social channels is high, but parents should consider the
emotional and security risks of posting on their children's behalf. In
addition to sometimes embarrassing their children, parents need to know
that it can also lead to big problems for the future. I caution parents
to think twice about what they share publicly."

Parental Tips for Safe Sharing

Watch out for geo-tagging. Many social networks will tag a user's
location when a photo is uploaded. Parents should ensure this feature is
turned off to avoid disclosing their location. This is especially
important when posting photos away from home.

Lock down privacy settings. Parents should only share
photos and other social media posts with their intended audience.
Services like Facebook and Instagram have features that allow posts to
be shared only with confirmed connections, but everything posted on a
social network should be treated as if it's public.

Set ground rules with friends, family and children. Be clear with
friends and family about guidelines when posting images. These rules can
help avoid unwanted situations where a family member has shared photos
without explicit permission. Don't forget that these ground rules should
also apply to parents to protect the children in the images from
embarrassment, anxiety or even cyberbullying.

Take control of your personal information. As the number of
reported data breaches continue to rise, so too does the possibility of
identity theft. For children who are too young for a credit card,
parents should freeze their credit to avoid any unauthorized use. An
identity theft protection solution like McAfee
Identity Theft Protection
can help consumers proactively protect
their identity and keep their personal information secured from misuse.

Survey Methodology

McAfee commissioned OnePoll to conduct a survey of 1,000 parents of
children aged 1 month to 16 years old in the U.S.

About McAfee

McAfee is the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company. Inspired by the
power of working together, McAfee creates business and consumer
solutions that make our world a safer place. By building solutions that
work with other companies' products, McAfee helps businesses orchestrate
cyber environments that are truly integrated, where protection,
detection and correction of threats happen simultaneously and
collaboratively. By protecting consumers across all their devices,
McAfee secures their digital lifestyle at home and away. By working with
other security players, McAfee is leading the effort to unite against
cybercriminals for the benefit of all. www.mcafee.com

McAfee and the McAfee logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of
McAfee LLC or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others

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