Acting Insp Bernadette Ingram: A good rule of thumb is to teach them the nanna rule - ask yourself if your nanna would be embarrassed if they saw the photo.
Acting Insp Bernadette Ingram: A good rule of thumb is to teach them the nanna rule - ask yourself if your nanna would be embarrassed if they saw the photo.

Kids bare it all on Facebook

PRIMARY school-aged girls in the Northern Rivers have taken to Facebook to share explicit photos of themselves with fellow students.

The Northern Star is aware of at least two instances of primary school girls in the Lismore area sharing naked or semi-naked photos of themselves over the past year.

Principals have also been monitoring the social media website and deleting accounts set up by under-age students. According to Facebook guidelines children in Australia must be over the age of 13 to legally set-up a Facebook account.

Former vice-chair of internet advocacy group Electronic Frontiers Australia, Geordie Guy, said Facebook was not an environment designed for younger children.

"As a parent you need to think about whether you would want younger children in this environment … think of it like a virtual party of young adults and ask yourself if you would want an eight-year-old to go along," he said.

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Acting Inspector Bernadette Ingram said she implored parents to talk to their children about respecting themselves and respecting their bodies.

"What kids may think is funny or cool can become horribly embarrassing later on, not to mention the fact they are committing a very serious crime by taking, possessing or sending these types of images," she said.

"A good rule of thumb is to teach them the nanna rule - ask yourself if your nanna would be embarrassed if they saw the photo.

"Photos distributed via the phone or internet networks are permanent.

"Once they are in cyberspace you can never get them back."

An Education Department spokesman said the health and wellbeing of students is of paramount importance to the NSW Department of Education and Communities.

"Schools are unable to control Facebook, and social networking sites are not accessible from NSW public school computers," the spokesman said.

"Any parent who has concerns about their child's wellbeing is encouraged to telephone the school to discuss the matter with the principal.

The spokesman said if principals found inappropriate material on Facebook they contact Facebook to ask for it to be taken down.

Safety tips

Internet tips for children:

  • Don't send a picture of yourself to anyone you don't know and never place a full profile and picture anywhere on the internet.
  • Never give out your personal information, including name, home address, phone number or school, over the internet.
  • Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone you have chatted with on the internet.
  • Tell your parents or another adult you know of any contact that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Remember that pressing "send" is definite and final - you can't get it back or take it down.

Internet tips for parents:

  • Be aware of how much time your child spends on the internet.
  • Talk to your child about the dangers associated with online conversations.
  • Explore the internet with your children and let them teach you about their favourite websites.
  • Keep the computer in a room the whole family can access; not in your child's bedroom.
  • Consider installing filtering and/or computer blocking software. For information visit netalert.net.au
  • Enquire with your child's school, public library, and places they frequent, to find out what internet safety measures they have in place.

Good crush figures despite unscheduled mill stop

Premium Content Good crush figures despite unscheduled mill stop

‘Weather conditions remain favourable for harvesting with no rain forecast for the...

Solar farms, parks, cycle circuit in Collinsville’s future

Premium Content Solar farms, parks, cycle circuit in Collinsville’s future

Residents are being asked to give their take on the future of the town.

YOUR SAY: Reef, renewables and recognition among priorities

Premium Content YOUR SAY: Reef, renewables and recognition among priorities

Whitsunday voters share their hopes for the state election at the Chamber of...