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Social Media reveals too much for comfort

By Mamta Gupta

In many instances, details of family vacations posted online have been exploited by thieves and robbers to steal from people’s homes and is being actively used in this manner.

Clicking selfies is now bordering on an obsessive behavioural pattern. Even if the selfie by itself does not cause trouble, the location tag, background details, fact that the person is alone or not, has taken the child along or not can easily be figured out by such predators, again putting the child at risk of injury, abuse, even death.

Most social networking sites and apps offer privacy options that seem to protect the data you put online making it available only to those you wish to. However, fact remains there is nothing like privacy in cyber space. Most content that you post online gets crawled through search engines and hundreds of other sites that keep this information in their databases.

So, if you have made a public picture on your social media account private, there is no guarantee that the image wouldn’t have been taken up by other sites. Also, these platforms keep changing their privacy policy, making it difficult for the user to understand or keep pace with. A lot of information despite being marked private is revealed to ‘mutual’ friends, followers, etc.

Online stalkers and predators act in different ways. While they may not have access to children of this age group directly on social media, they may approach children physically based on the details divulged online by their parents or other family members.

The threat is not restricted to activities by parents or family members. Children are at risk from their schools (playschools, nurseries), day care centres, tuition teachers and instructors of other hobby classes that they go to.

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