Facebook has announced that it will allow young teens to share their posts on the social network with anyone on the Internet.

The change was announced on Wednesday 17 October, and affects Facebook users aged 13 to 17.

This will increase the risk of minors leaving a digital trail that could potentially cause them harm.

Previously, Facebook users falling within that age group could only share information and photos with their own friends or friends of those friends.

The new policy will allow teens to change their settings so their posts can be viewed by the general public – an option that has been available to adults (including users who are 18 or 19) for some time.

Facebook has not publically disclosed how many of its nearly 1,2-billon users are between the ages of 13 and 19. Children under the age of 13 can not set up accounts on its service, but Facebook doesn’t have a reliable way to verify the ages of its users.