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Why you should double-check back-to-school photos before posting them online

It is a tradition for many parents to post a first day of school picture. But, here's what to consider before sharing them online.

SAN ANTONIO — Back-to-school pictures are proud parent moments that you want to document and share with friends and family. “But it’s absolutely dangerous,” said Michael Skiba, known as Dr. Fraud.

That is because the information in many first day of school photos can put your children at risk by revealing plenty of personal information predators and scammers can use. Popular back-to-class pictures include chalkboards that can reveal age, school, grade, teacher and favorite things. That is information predators posing as a friend can use to make contact with a child.

“Studies show about 60% of children will respond to an instant message from an unknown sender,” Skiba said.

Also, be aware of what your child is wearing.

“What we’re seeing is if a child has a uniform, a school uniform on, you can decipher very easily what school that they go to,” Skiba said.

Plus, be sure to check the background.

“I’ve seen pictures recently with [license] plate numbers where you can see them in the background, or even addresses or houses,” Skiba said. “You know, all that is personal information that a scammer can grab and use.”

Protect your child by limiting the information your photo shows. Then also check your privacy settings on your social media accounts. Cybersecurity company Lookout said about 25% of people with social media accounts have their Facebook profile setting open to the “public.” That means anyone can view the account. Consider restricting who can see your posts for any extra layer of protection.

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