70pc of Irish youth have shared embarrassing photos on social media

9 Feb 2015

Ahead of ‘Safer Internet Today’, ESET has reported worrying numbers of Irish youngsters who have shared images that would embarrass them in public.

With online safety amongst youngsters being promoted all over the world on February 10, the results of this report could not be more timely.

The Fappening, which saw dozens of major celebrities’ ‘private’ messages going public last year, should really have acted like a stark warning to society about the perils of ensuring privacy online.

It doesn’t seem to be the case. Indeed back in 2013 ESET reported on a survey about consumers’ use of data leak protection, almost three quarters of respondents were unaware of the term.

Getting worse

“Now,” says ESET, “the situation seems to have gotten even worse, as not only do people not seem to realise data can get lost or stolen, but they actively put themselves at risk.”

The latest report saw over 1,000 people asked asked if they ever uploaded or shared, messaged or texted any picture of themselves that would be embarrassing to them if it was made available to the public.

The results showed that the younger you are, the more likely it is that you share something you will probably later regret – 70pc of people aged 16-24 said yes, with 62pc of those 25-34 doing likewise.

“Region-wise, Dubliners are the worst offenders with 47pc across all ages sending their photos about, while Connaught and Ulster were more conservative with 39pc.

“Income wise, those with higher income lead in carelessness with 43pc over 40pc of those in the lower income group. People do not yet seem to realise that once a photo is uploaded it is out there.”


The full question asked: Have you ever uploaded (e.g. to social media, online storage etc.), shared (e.g. on social media, snapchat etc.), messaged (e.g. whatsapp/viber) or texted a photo of yourself online which you would be embarrassed to have made available to the public? Results via ESET Ireland

Embarrassed teens with phones, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic