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Parents might think there is no harm in posting an image of their child on Tinder or Facebook, but authorities warn those same images could end up in the galleries of paedophiles.

The rise of social media and dating applications has seen images of children uploaded to the World Wide Web in ever increasing numbers, usually by their parents, and usually without permission nor understanding from the child.

That's despite the fact that people have been using the internet to date for decades.

There are a number of dating apps on the market — including happn, Hinge and Grindr — but Tinder is the most prominent.

The first result was “Spotafriend”, a Tinder alternative for teens, and the second was called “Hook up Now”. The majority amongst the others were mostly chat apps, with the exception of “spin the bottle” and “Asian flirt & hookup”. According to the company’s Linked In page: “Meet teens near you with Spotafriend, the Tinder alternative for people ages 13-19……and swipe right to accept. Teens today are way more open to different lifestyles and cultures. 19-year-old’s are men and have no business mingling with 13-year-old girls and vice versa.

Because “Spotafriend” was in the top spot, I downloaded it and began to login with my personal Facebook account. Well, this very high tech safe guard sequence was literally me, taking a selfie, holding up three fingers. I’m a 42 year old woman; who is not supposed to be using this app, according to their disclaimer. It’s hard to meet new friends when you’re stuck in school with the same people all day, year after year. And isn’t it up to their parents to expose them to different cultures and lifestyles? Given the fact that kids are in fact having sex younger these days, this combination has danger written all over it. I have to say that at first glance, most photos are relatively innocent looking and very selfie-ish and very few teens bother to write anything about themselves in the description. Do I initiate contact with one of these kids, for the purpose of journalism or just delete the app? I go back to Google and find some pre-press for this app from earlier this year. Built for i Phone, Spotafriend has a security feature to block adults and predators….” Secure my ass! Clearly there is no real safe guard, age restriction or parental control within this app, which frightens me.

So before you begin the troublesome journey into the depths of an open dating market, heed our advice, lest you find yourself adopting 7000 cats to replace an empty love life.

Here’s our top 5 dos and don’ts of navigating those choppy Tinder waters.

We may not be masters of romance, despite how traditionally knowledgeable technology journalist tend to be in that area, but we want to share with you some tips on how to make your romantic trials manageable.Dr Lauren Rosewarne, a social commentator from the University of Melbourne, says internet-date horror stories get disproportionate media attention.She says there's still this idea that the internet is "a kind of badlands" and that "only losers or those with criminal intent go online to meet people"."We can say, only share it with people you know and trust, but we also know with a lot of these sites, people inadvertently can see photos that were never intended for them."Ms Britnell said parents usually posted pictures with the best of intentions but "the audience is wide and you don't know who they are"."In some ways, this is a new world and people just have not had the time to think about how they could be violating their child's rights to privacy," she said.Single parents are also increasingly using images of their children to advertise themselves on the dating app, Tinder.In 2015, one in 10 single Australians aged 18-24 were using it, according to Roy Morgan Research.

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