(WFXR) — As kids across the Commonwealth prepare for for their first day of school, you might be tempted to make them one of those cute back-to-school boards and post their pictures online. However, law enforcement and cybersecurity experts say you might want to think twice before you share those images.
Social media is already flooded with photos of happy children ready to return to the classroom, many of whom are holding signs featuring their name, age, school, teacher, and a variety of other personal details.
Cybersecurity experts say information like that that can be an issue for a few reasons.
For example, by sharing those pictures, you might be releasing a lot of private information onto the internet, which can be used to guess things like passwords or PIN numbers.
However, it can also boil down to safety, especially for kids, who may be more likely to trust someone who knows more about them, like their parents’ names, their favorite foods or colors, etc.
Dr. Tod Burke, a former police officer and retired criminal justice professor at Radford University, says there are multiple ways someone could abuse those back to school posts.
“What you don’t want to do is post so much personal information that you’re making it ideal for scammers, predators, identity theft, and even financial aspects. You can have your credit ruined as a kid before you even have credit,” Burke said.
He adds that if you’re taking any back-to-school photos before your kid hops on the bus, make sure your street address isn’t visible in the picture. Otherwise, someone could use that information to track down you or your child.
If you’ve already posted too much information, Burke recommends simply deleting the post.
Meanwhile, cybersecurity experts encourage anyone who wants to post photos celebrating your kid’s first day of school to make sure your account is private.