Researchers from McAfee have warned of the dangers of posting photos of your children online

During the last week thousands of students across the UK have received their GSCE results, following weeks of anticipation.

Many proud parents will post photos of their children online to mark the occasion, but a new study warned of the dangers of this practice.

Researchers from McAfee have revealed that 1.3 billion images of children are shared in the UK online each year – particularly following big events, such as GCSE results day.

Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and McAfee Fellow said: “Social media is an incredible tool for sharing our children’s achievements with loved ones.

“And, if your child has done really well in their GCSE’s it’s only natural to want to post about it on social media and share how proud you are.

“However, parents are clearly not giving enough consideration to what they post online and both the emotional and security risks of content posted on public social media accounts.”

McAfee’s study highlighted several dangers of posting photos of your child online.

Whether it’s sharing an image of your child in their school uniform, or tagging the college they’re heading to, all this information can be used to build a digital picture.

Worryingly, this can open your child up to all types of security risks, according to McAfee. Mr Samani added: “Parents must recognise that sharing information about, or photos of their children ultimately leaves a digital footprint.

“This can lead to future problems such as job applications or university decisions being made from what the internet says about your child, rather than his or her ability itself.

“Also, if such shared images get into the wrong hands, they can be used to gather personal information like schools, a child’s full name or even birth dates to paint a picture of who they are, which could have serious repercussions ranging from identity theft to cyberbullying.

“It’s important for parents to think twice about what they share publicly before it is too late.”