CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hartford Police Department shared some child safety tips about posting back-to-school photos on social media.
Some of these pictures include a child holding a “first day of school” sign with some of their basic information like their name, age, grade, and teacher’s name. To avoid giving out too much personal information, the police say to keep your answers simple. They also suggest only sending the photo to family and friends.
Springfield Police told 22News this information can put your child’s safety at risk, “Try not to have too many backgrounds that are recognizable don’t post pictures of your kids where you can see the home, where they live, or even the school, and the school name,” said Ryan Walsh, Springfield Police Department Spokesperson. “Individuals have been known to take pictures of your children and mask that and create an alternate identity where these are adults contacting other children using the image of your child pretending that they are them.”
Walsh says while it is rare for these things to happen, it can also lead to stalking or identity theft. So before you jump on this trend it is recommended that parents double check who has access to their posts.
“I would encourage people to take this opportunity before you start posting to review your social media account’s privacy settings regularly. Start today and be mindful of who can view your post,” Paula Fleming, Chief Spokesperson at the Better Business Bureau.
You may also want to avoid accepting friend requests from strangers and to think twice before accepting friend requests from people you’re already connected with as it may not actually be them.