By Bri Lamm -September 9, 2021
Authorities are now warning parents to be mindful when it comes to a popular back-to-school photo trend, as it could make kids an easy target for predators.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office in Woodstock, Illinois, recently shared a side-by-side photo of Deputy Sherriff Tim Creighton holding up a sign that reads “My 1st Day of School.” In both snaps, Creighton is holding the same poster, which lists several details about him including his name, grade, the school’s name, the teacher’s name, several of his favorite things, his age, weight, and height.
While the first photo reveals all of that information, the second photo has the details blurred out.
In the post, the sheriff’s office urged parents to “think before you share.”
“Back to school photos are filling social media feeds everywhere, often revealing personal information about your child. This information – school name, classroom, grade, age, etc. – can all be used by predators, scammers, and other people looking to endanger your child, family, or finances.”
Ultimately, the sheriff’s office says, it doesn’t matter what your privacy settings are or who is on your friends list, it’s best to stick with the bare minimum when it comes to sharing personal information on the internet.
Since being posted on August 8, the post has been shared more than 69,000 times, with many parents thanking the sheriff’s office for the reminder. Others weighed in with other safety tips like not putting your child’s name on their backpack.
“I never even thought about this,” one person wrote. “I just deleted them. Thank you for the reminder.”
“All thats missing is mothers maiden name and social security number,” wrote another, emphasizing the amount of information that is so easily shared.
When it comes to online safety, less is best.