Saturday 24 February 2018

Majority of Irish dads post photos of their kids on Tinder despite threat from online predators

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

More than three quarters of single dads post photographs of their children on their online dating profiles, despite the risk that the images may be targeted by internet predators.

New research has found that 77pc of Irish single dads who use the dating app Tinder share photos of their children on their public profile compared to just 19pc of mums, despite the potential threat of the images being used in a sinister way by sexual predators.

Laura Haugh, a spokesperson for who conducted the study, said she was “stunned” that at so many Irish parents are sharing photographs of children online and opening their kids up to potential threats from paedophiles.

“The very real risks of putting photos of your children online have been discussed at length in recent years, so much so that many of us have locked-down our social media profiles to restrict photo sharing to family and friends," said Ms Haugh.

“In our research, we were stunned at the huge percentage of men who happily shared photos of their children on the free online dating app Tinder. Single mums were not so carefree and naive with very few sharing photos of their children within the dating app.”

The expert said that many share the photographs to be upfront about being a parent, but Ms Haugh advised that simply informing potential suitors of your family on a online dating profile is sufficient.

“Of course, some single parents prefer to be upfront with potential suitors; however the text summary section of your Tinder profile allows you to do this without putting your children at risk to paedophiles trawling the internet. Unfortunately, there are people who take advantage of online anonymity and dating sites to prey on single parents and their children, so we urge them to consider how precious your children are to you and protect them by not posting photos of your kids on online dating sites.”

“All parents are innately proud of their children, but as much as your children are the number one priority in your life and you want potential dates to know that, their privacy and safety should be borne in mind. In fact, they probably wouldn’t thank you in later years if they knew their images were used in such a way. ”

The research also found that Irish mums are wary about meeting up with men they met online and are conscious of the risks associated with dating.

The study found that 74pc of mums surveyed take extra precautions before embarking on an online date.

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