Many parents have made it an annual ritual to take photos of their children on the first day of school. For many families, taking pictures of their children on their first day of school, whether it be kindergarten, fifth grade, or junior year, and sharing them with friends and family online, has become an annual tradition. Here are things you need to know before posting those pictures of your kid.

One mother admits, “I do take first-day-of-school photographs. In my opinion, a today is a remarkable event. It’s interesting to observe how much they evolved through time. Since my youngest child is starting Pre-K this year, I will be using a chalkboard for the first time in my teaching career. When looking back at old pictures, I think it’s adorable that you have to figure out what grade they were entering.

Along with the happy kids, you’ll also see their names, ages, grades written in chalk, and other pertinent details like the school, instructor, and extracurriculars they enjoy. Disclosing information of that nature could put your loved ones in danger. Here are some things to avoid posting online during the ceremony.

It’s all in the details.

Parents typically don’t think twice about hearing about their kids’ favorite parts of the first day of school until they discover the information could put their kids in danger.

Internet security expert and TikToker Cathy Pedreyes warns parents in a video that has gone viral with over 2 million views that they may not want complete strangers to know their children’s names, teachers’ names, schools, and favorite sports or activities.

It’s possible that you’re not realizing that some of the specifics of your conversation could put your loved ones in danger. Predators can utilize a wide variety of information to locate a child, including a child’s name, address, vehicle plate number, and other personal details.

The Dangers of Sharing Your Child’s Personal Data Online

It’s easy to dismiss these specifics as unimportant, but thieves can use them in a variety of ways. Predators can exploit a child’s personal information to locate them, and hackers can use it to guess passwords and steal data.

Online criminals could utilize a victim’s personal information to try to guess their passwords. Common password choices include things like a person’s name, a pet’s name, or a member of their immediate family who also happens to be mentioned in the user’s public social media profile. As a result, this information is a prime target for hackers who can simply glean it from public posts on social media and use it to try to get access to user accounts.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2021 Annual Data Breach Report, the number of data breaches in 2019 was 1,862, a rise of more than 68% over the previous year. There were 365,348 complaints of missing children in the United States in 2020, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Child Crime Prevention & Safety Center estimates that at any given time, half a million internet child predators are at work.

If you tell the world where your kids go to school, anyone can pretend to be a friend or relative and entice your kids out of school with facts a stranger would never know. Consideration should be given to the details you reveal.

The Effects of Social Media on Parents

Parental sharing of family photos and life events has been a staple of social media since its debut. With over 3 million photos tagged with “first day of school,” it’s not surprising that people feel compelled to join the trend and upload their own “back to school” snaps on social media.

A child psychologist has observed that the widespread practice of sharing photographs of youngsters has become accepted in today’s society. When we snap an unplanned photo and post it online, we may not consider the ramifications.

As the pandemic has increased people’s sense of isolation, the sharing of photographs has helped bring people together and allowed those who are physically unable to attend celebrations to be a part of the action. There is no village to help these parents. As a result of today’s fast-paced lifestyles, people’s social circles tend to spread apart.

It has become so commonplace to post images and updates about our kids’ life on social media that we rarely stop to consider the impact that this has on their privacy, even before they are born. It’s crucial to exercise caution while disclosing personal information about your children.

Using Private Photo Sharing is the Best Option

By being careful about what information you disclose and who has access to these photos, you may continue the practice of snapping pictures on the first day of school without putting your family at risk. Although parental comfort levels with internet sharing may vary, it’s always wise to take measures to protect your privacy.

Parents should take precautions by limiting access to their accounts to trusted contacts only. Similarly, parents should use different, robust passwords for each of their internet accounts and avoid using easily-retrievable personal details.

Don’t put your kids at risk by revealing personal information in these photos.

Keep up the traditions of celebrating the first day of school, but use caution. Consider whether those photographs would be better shared in a group text with close friends and family before you upload them to social media. If you decide to share it online, keep in mind that disclosing too much personal information about your child or family could put everyone in danger.

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