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A study by internet security firm, AVG, found that 82% of children in 10 Western countries have a online presence before the age of two.
CNN reported that the high figures can largely be credited to photo-sharing websites such as Facebook, where images of newborns and toddlers are often shared with family from across the globe.
When looking at the figures for each country, the U.S. leads with 92% of American children under the age of two having an online presence. New Zealand was close behind with 91%, followed by Canada and Australia with 84%.
Surprisingly, AVG’s report found that it’s not always the child’s mother who is uploading the images. Only 33% of the 2,200 moms interviewed admitted to uploading images of their babies to the internet. Other family members and friends are often the culprits, uploading images of the newborn or toddler to their own profile.
AVG highlighted that there are valid security concerns with uploading such images, as extra information often accompanies the image such as the child’s full name, date of birth etc. “Obviously there’s a privacy issue,” said AVG spokeswoman Siobhan MacDermott, “if they’re applying for credit [later on] and having that information readily available for people who want to compromise their identities.”
A possible solution to protecting the child’s identity is simply to be aware of privacy settings.
Thumbnail image: D Sharon Pruitt.