It's hard to believe, but summer is winding down and a new school year is about to begin. Parents love to show off their children in their "first-day" pictures holding those Etsy-style signs this time of year. As much as we all love the cuteness overload, all the sharing may be dangerous.

You can guarantee that soon you will start seeing those trendy posts all over social media. Those adorable pictures parents snap of their child holding a board with information about them such as their grade, teacher’s name, their best friends, and even their favorite color. Cute? Of course, it is, but those posts could be giving criminals the keys to commit a crime against your family and your kids with that information about your child.

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As much as social media has been a great way to share all the highlights of our lives, including our children, it has become a haven for child predators. According to the Child Crime Prevention & Safety Center, there is an estimated 500,000 online predators active each day. Even with your privacy settings adjusted just to include "friends", the information is still making its way out into the "world".

"Parents should always be careful when posting pictures, especially of their children.  You should always check settings, limiting who can access them.
When it comes to school pictures, you don’t want to give any information that may help identify your child or their school", Sergeant Scott Theede of the Grand Blanc Township Police Department told us."Even something as simple as a mascot can help a predator gain information on your child.  If they know your child is an “Eagle” and they know the city you live in, a simple computer search can direct them to your child’s school.
Parents should always remember, less is best!"

What Should Parents Avoid Posting Online?

Law Enforcement experts advise keeping details to a bare minimum.

Don't share:

  •  School name
  •  Age
  •  Teacher's name and grade
  •  Identifying features (height, weight, etc.)
  •  Overly personal information (think items related to passwords or security question answers, etc.)

If you do choose to share back-to-school pictures on social media, consider taking the following precautions:

  • Review Privacy Settings: Ensure that your social media posts are visible only to trusted friends and family.
  • Limit Identifying Information: Avoid sharing detailed information about the school, location, or routine.
  • Respect Your Child's Wishes: As your child grows, respect their opinions on what they're comfortable with you sharing.

In the end, it's important to strike a balance between sharing special moments with loved ones and ensuring your child's privacy and safety.

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