Dad’s horror as ‘perverts’ stalk girl on school iPad
MORE than 50 "perverts" have started stalking a girl, 9, and asking for nude photos, within days of her setting up a social media account on her school-issued iPad.
The girl, a pupil of a southeast Queensland school, set up an Instagram account last week using her Education Department email address and a fake mobile phone number.
Her father, who did not want to be named to protect his daughter and her school, said: "We shut down the device, took it to the school, got told we needed to remove the 51 unknown perverts."
He said that although the iPad settings prevented the installation of the Instagram app, his daughter was able to create the account by accessing the Instagram website.
The father said the restriction on iPads accessing websites only worked while accessing the internet from the school's WiFi.
"Some of the iPads issued by the State Government are in full lockdown. The one's we've received aren't," he said.
"And my little girl, nine years of age, somehow created an Instagram account with a Queensland Government email address and perverts were asking her for nude photos.
"From what I could see she got the iPad the week before school holidays, she created an Instagram account (including a photo of herself) I think Thursday last week.
"It was either Sunday or Monday afternoon this week she coughed up that people were trying to get nude photos of her."
She used the email issued to her to access Microsoft OneNote used by Queensland state schools for remote learning during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The father said two other local families had told him their children had also managed to set up Instagram accounts on school-issued iPads.
When he approached the school the father said staff told him his daughter should have been using a relay server, which was available from the school for $42.
The father admitted that although this had been stated in an email from the school, it was only mentioned as a dot point and it was not made clear it was an important security measure.
"I just want people to be aware they need to do their due diligence because the school told us in their literature to obtain a relay server," he said.
"I run a business that is very much IT dependant but a relay server to me was a wireless modem, not a firewall.
"I went 'I don't need one of those' and didn't purchase it because we've got a WiFi modem at home.
"But a relay server is the child protection device apparently.
"I get everyone's been in a hurry, I don't hold anyone to blame."
The Education Department did not respond to an invitation to comment.
The girl rejected the request for photos, saying "no way".
"I told her that she wasn't allowed to do those sorts of apps until she was 16, probably more like 18, because there's sick people out there that will try to get her to send nude photos," her father said.
"That's exactly what I said to her 12 months ago when she first started using computers at school. I think I'm lucky I said that.
"She kind of realised that what daddy said would happen did happen."
The father said that after initially imposing punishment on his daughter, he quickly rescinded it and congratulated her for doing the right thing.
Originally published as Dad's horror as 'perverts' stalk girl on school iPad