With back-to-school in full swing, safety experts and law enforcement are urging parents to be mindful of what they share in regards to a popular social media photo trend with kids – as it could make them easy targets for predators.
On Aug. 8, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office in Woodstock, Illinois, shared an image of Deputy Sherriff Tim Creighton exemplifying a common online theme in which parents post images of their children posing with a sign to celebrate the first day of a new school year.
The two-snapshot Facebook post shows Creighton holding a poster titled, "My first day of school" with the left side sharing mock information such as name, age, grade, teacher and name of school in attendance. The right image has those personal details blurred out, suggesting that it’s unsafe to include it in a picture.
The post was shared upwards of 69,000 times, with many commenters thanking the sheriff’s office for the crucial tip that parents should never share the following:
Teacher's name and grade
Identifying features (height, weight, etc.)
Overly personal information (think items related to passwords or security question answers, etc.)
"This information…can all be used by predators, scammers, and other people looking to endanger your child, family, or finances," the caption read. "No matter your privacy settings or friends list, its best to keep personal information on the internet to the bare minimum."
Creighton said the images were publicly posted as a reminder to parents and caregivers: "Think before you share."
"Cyber security, internet passwords fraud, sex trafficking…there’s a lot," Creighton told Fox News of the reasons why certain details should be omitted.