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Online cellphone photos pose risk to kids' safety

You could be letting strangers know your family’s home, school and work locations.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Aug 13, 2013 5:54PM

If you’re a parent who posts cellphone photos of your kids online, you’ll want to read this. You may be putting your child’s safety at risk.

Cellphone photos pose risk to kids' privacy / Steve Debenport/Getty Images With the click of a mouse, online hackers can search photos of your family posted all over the web on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Photobucket, reports NBCActionNews. New technology and location services, like GPS, makes it easy to track down a person even from a simple email, and pinpoint their location and places they frequent. It’s like giving a stranger access to your kid’s school, local playground or afterschool activities. Hackers can even map out where a child’s bedroom is within a home. Scary stuff.

More on MSN Living: 5 ways to protect yourself online

One social-media savvy mom, Gina Cohen, weighed in on this frightening news.

“I am always very concerned about the privacy of the photos I take of my kids - I check to be sure my Facebook settings are set to 'friends only' so that nobody else can see what I'm posting, so when I saw this video it really scared me,” said Cohen.

She checked her phone and found that location services were defaulted to “off” for her camera.

Bing: How to turn off the GPS on a cellphone

But then found out this week that when responding to Facebook messages from her phone, her exact location is accessible via the “location” icon. 

“That was hugely troubling as well,” said Cohen. “It makes me very leery about posting anything remotely personal anymore.”

More on MSN Living: 15 things moms overshare on Facebook

Office Mark Chudik of Leawood Police in Leawood, Kan. called this hidden threat, “today’s biggest risk online – it’s probably going to be No. 1 for a while.”

Next time you’re inclined to capture your kid’s moment of cuteness, be sure to turn off your GPS settings. You never know who may be watching online.

Tell us: Will you think twice before you post cellphone photos of your kids online?

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Photo: Steve Debenport/Getty Images

126Comments
Dec 27, 2013 4:48PM
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I completely agree that you should have the right to monitor your children. It is a dangerous world out there. I have cellphonesleuth.com which allows parents to monitor their kids phone and activities. I agree with full disclosure and that you children shouuld know that their access is beining monitored.
Aug 17, 2013 8:02AM
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Donn't worry to much of that; If someone want to track you , you have nowhere to hide nowadays,but why do they track you?
Aug 16, 2013 6:30PM
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I remember when My Space first started and there were predators preying on children, especially teens though. When the Facebook craze started, I was so apprehensive about it and everyone thought I was paranoid. I especially didn't like the idea of posting my kids pictures all over the internet, it made me nervous. I have received so much nudging from friends and others who say it's not that big a deal. I have felt like such a paranoid person, but now after reading this...I am glad I stood my ground. My kids are my world and although I love sharing photos like any proud Mama, it's not worth the risk in my opinion.
Aug 15, 2013 2:44PM
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The only cute kid pictures I post are of the back of the head.

 

=)

Aug 14, 2013 9:03PM
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Thank goodness my kid are all grown and I seldom put any pix of my grandchildren out there, I do post stuff occasionally, but few and far between. Not enough for a hacker to do anything with. But it is scary how people could abuse the info you do put out there....
Aug 14, 2013 4:22PM
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I love the ignorant parents who use kids photos as their profile pic.  They usually have all their information on Facebook and allow anyone to be a friend just to have lots of contacts.  BINGO the child molester has everything they need and than the proud(moronic)parents post constantly about little Sue or Johnny doing this and that here and there. 
I have a profile pic of a dog and no personal information not even an email, I can't figure out why people are so free and easy with their children, but when there are children having children and don't have the mentality for being a responsible parent then I guess thats one reason child abuse and molestation is on the rise.

Aug 14, 2013 2:02PM
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Why do people feel the need to tell everyone what they and their kids are doing every second of the day?  If you want to communicate and send pictures to your friends and relatives...have a little sense and use email.

Facebook seems to be just a place where idiots who want to brag about the life they're trying to pretend to have go to brag to strangers.  In the process, they send pictures of their own children to every pedophile in a 50 mile radius because the safety of their children is secondary to their need to exhibit their lives.

I have never used FB or Twitter, etc...I enjoy my privacy and the people that I care about know what they need to know about me.  Personally, I don't really give a rat's butt about what strangers are doing and don't want to read about it.

Aug 14, 2013 1:33PM
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If you go online, they will get you
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