The Value of a Photograph?

Family photographs were once something to be put into family albums, to be shared with friends and relatives, and to be pulled out at embarrassing times once your children are grown up and dating. (You know exactly what I’m talking about – the naked ones on the change mat!!!). But these days were are less likely to print out our photographs, and are growing more and more wary of sharing them online. Do we now value our family photographs less than we did in the past?

We can share our photographs so much easier these days, Instagram is hugely popular, as is Snapchat, and Facebook still has the capacity for us to create album after album. Yet, In order to take a closer look at how we now value photographs and to find out how much we worry about their reach in the online world, asked 1040 people aged over 18: “Are you happy sharing photos of your children online?”

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I share some family photographs on my Instagram feed.

The results were surprising. Despite living in times when oversharing seems to be the norm, and life doesn’t seem to be happening unless it has an online footprint, the results found that 83% of parents who responded to the survey were wary of sharing photos of their children online, while just 17% were fine with it.  There are worries about photographs being stolen and used for insavoury purposes. Even photo storing and secure accounts have been hacked, with high profile stars like Jennifer Lawrence falling victim. It’s no wonder that although we seem to want to share, we are wary and uneasy about possible consequences. (You can read more about the survey here.)

Speaking about the study, Ian Cowley, Managing Director of Cartridge Save said:

“Our lives are now lived online; it’s a culture to take tens, if not hundreds of photos a day and share them with friends, family and strangers – what we’re doing, what we’re eating, where we are. It seems that photographs, now that they are no longer limited by cost, are rarely printed and kept safe so have lost their value and become worthless to us – they can always be deleted and replaced with another, better, selfie or snap of your meal.”

He continued with a warning:

“Despite assurances of online safety, once photographs are shared online, their reach is no longer in your hands. Even if they are deleted from a social site shortly after being uploaded, or even if you upload them to an account that it set to be private, the photos will already be backed up in servers around the world that may be vulnerable to hacking.”


Despite all this, I still can’t see us going back to a time of photo albums. I love flicking through old photographs, but have you actually tried to buy a nice album recently? They are getting harder and harder to find, and more and more expensive. The answer may be that we have albums on our laptops, smart phones and ipads that we keep all to ourselves, only sharing impersonal snaps on our online outlets.

What do you think?

Internet Safety – Internet Matters

Looking back, it seemed that when I was a little girl ‘safety’ was a word that was mainly applied to crossing the road, stranger danger and kids being in the kitchen. Computers were just beginning to take off and the internet was unheard of. These days are very different. Children are growing up in an internet age, and using computers, laptops and tablets bring a very specific set of threats and dangers that parents have to be aware of, and in control of.

We want our children to be able to use and enjoy the web, our every day life is a mass of computer technology, and kids get so much fun and knowledge from computers, whether they are playing games or using them to research school projects. With all this in mind, Internet Matters has produced a range of guides, from pre-school to teenagers, that are designed to help you understand how you can ensure your children is using the internet safely.

I have been using the guide for 6-10 year olds because I have a six year old boy who loves to use the computer for different things. He likes to play online, free football games, and he knows how to use search engines to find these – but I often find lots of windows open that have nothing to do with football. He enjoys You Tube for watching Minions trailers, but again, I worry about other things he can find on You Tube. And he has also recently become familiar with I-Player for watching Match of the Day reruns. Clearly all these things can be safe, but need to be monitored.

2bd5552bdaee743b3b755c06f284d61aed941c82I am pleased to say that some of the things suggested in the guide are things that I am already doing. Our computers (laptop and tablet) are only used in communal areas – the living and dining room, so I can see exactly what Joe is playing on. To be honest, I’m usually sitting in the seat beside him, and we chat about the games and programmes he accesses.  It is shocking that according to research from Internet Matters, some parents never chat about their child’s internet experiences.


I try to use safe search engines on Google, but am sad to say I’d never heard of search engines like Swiggle or Kids-Search which are child friendly search engines. These stop children accessing inappropriate, nasty content like pornography, violence and films and content meant for adults.



A final point that Internet Matters makes clear is the need to make sure all content accessed is age appropriate – just like you would with movies and  dvds. Children under 13 should not be on Facebook, and even games that are suitable for under 10s, like Club Penguin, have an online social element that means it should not really be played unsupervised.

1420819751_crop_CreativeBrief_InternetMatters_940x560pxThe Internet Matters guides are full of hints and tips for keeping your youngsters safe online. There are also guides that delve into areas of cyber bullying and online grooming that can affect older children and teens.


Check out the teen guide here.

Well worth a look for anyone with a child.

Save the Cyberworld with Bletchley Park and McAfee

As a parent with a child who is just starting to enjoy the benefits of the internet, one of my biggest fears is online safety. From chat-rooms and forums where people are not who they claim to be, to the hacking of passwords. From the transference of viruses that can lead to everything on your hard-drive being wiped out, to drive-by downloads that you don’t even know have occurred, the using of the internet by the young is just such a minefield. But help is at hand.

Anti- Virus giant McAfee have formed a brilliant educational partnership with Bletchley Park, home of the Enigma code-busters and the birthplace of modern computing. Bletchley and McAfee are working together to educate children of the dangers that can be faced when using the internet. Bletchley is currently developing an International Cyber Security Exhibition and Computer Learning Zone within it’s new visitor centre, and McAfee is collaborating, bringing together two organisations highly committed to keeping people of all ages safe online. McAfee and Bletchley say “..Children and adults will be able to learn how the breathtaking achievements of the WW2 Code-breakers are relevant in today’s war against cyber threats.”


Bletchley Park

This is all exciting stuff, and now McAfee and Bletchley are offering an amazing competition opportunity for children aged 8-11 to be part of protecting cyberspace for now and future generations.

Can you design a next-generation superhero to protect the online world from cybercrime?

Bletchley and McAfee want children aged between 8 and 11 to design a new superhero, one who would be adept at keeping cyberspace safe for all. This superhero would become the mascot of the Bletchley Park/McAfee partnership…but that is not all. The child who creates the winning mascot will be awarded a visit to Bletchley Park for their entire school class when it opens this Summer.

First Prize for the winning child also includes:

A visit to your classroom from a McAfee cyber security expert, as an introduction to your visit to Bletchley Park.
Cybersecurity capes for the whole class, to wear at Bletchley Park.
The chance to see your cyber security superhero brought to life on our website – helping children and teachers stay safe online.
10 copies of McAfee LiveSafe software for your school.

Children awarded 2nd and 3rd place will be provided with McAfee LiveSafe software for their school.

What an amazing prize this is, a wonderful opportunity for your child and their whole class to do something amazing, and worthwhile too.

Could your child design their own super hero?

Could your child design their own super hero?

The competition is open now until 5pm on Friday 20th June. You can check out all the information, terms and conditions, and how to enter here.

This is a collaborative post to help promote a competition.