Durban — As the schools reopen on Wednesday for the first term of 2024, excitement and tears of joy will fill the air for some parents who will celebrate seeing their children wearing school uniforms for the first time.
While parents will be brimming with joy, some children will be bursting into tears after school drop-offs. For some parents, capturing such moments is important.
And for that reason, taking pictures of children and posting them on social media is common for many people, who don't think twice about it.
In an interview with the Newzroom Afrika, the senior account manager of a cybersecurity company, ESET Cyber Security, Calin Cloete, warned parents against sharing their children’s pictures online.
She said one of the lasting negative effects is that any information shared on social media could be stored permanently on the internet.
“People often don’t know that pictures posted online have metadata containing the location, time and date details, which are used by cyberattackers. We do embrace technology, but people should be mindful and vigilant so they don’t share sensitive information online. Exposing school uniforms of children, school and location, could endanger the lives of those who share such information on the internet,” said Cloete.
She stressed the importance of privacy settings, which she said safeguard the account user on the internet.
“People should always turn off their notification and log off when they are done using their accounts. Social media is a good platform to communicate with friends and loved ones, but users should be extremely mindful,” she added.
Cloete explained that sharing private information not only has unfortunate consequences for the child, but also has negative effects on the personal lives of many, because cybercriminals are always waiting for such information, to fish and create fake artificial intelligence.
The Department of Basic Education declared January 17 the date of schools reopening, while some schools began operating on January 16 for orientations.
Thirona Moodley the KwaZulu-Natal chief executive of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) said they have been inundated with complaints from frustrated school principals.
“Schools have placed orders for learning materials in 2023 and due to the department failing to pay schools their allocations, schools were not able to pay service providers and therefore have not received teaching and learning material for 2024. This will make teaching and learning impossible on the first day,” Moodley said.
She added that the staffing of schools is cause for concern.
“The department will not renew some temporary educator contracts, the process for establishing school staff for 2024 is yet to be completed or even commence in some schools.
“The province has experienced severe weather conditions during the holidays. Schools have been severely damaged as a result. To add to this schools have again fallen prey to criminals, this has resulted in furniture, window frames, doors and electronic equipment stolen,” said Moodley.
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