[Mom Team] A Warning From Police About Back-to-School Photos
Too late? There's a right way and a wrong way to post back-to-school photos, and police are warning that doing it the wrong way can not only endanger our kids but it can create serious headaches for us too.
I had no idea that Boise has fifteen School Resource Officers spread out at schools around the city, with eight of them at the high school level and the rest working out of middle schools. They also cover the elementary schools that feed into those middle schools. That's major peace of mind. And they would be a good resource for kids who have questions about whether crazy parents like us should be posting so much identifiable information on back-to-school boards.
The photo from the McHenry County Sheriff's Office in Woodstock, Illinois has gone viral, and it's begging parents not to post information that scammers could use to steal a child's identity. As a parent, it pains me to think I might mess up the kids lives in some way, and although I haven't posted one of those back-to-school info boards, I have used names and ages in some of my posts. (And I've lied to them about whether or not there was broccoli hidden in the pesto pasta dish, but that's another issue.) Surely the hackers won't bother OUR kids, right? That's the thin hope that we're skatin' on with these posts.
Police warn not to include any of this info in social media posts:
Teacher's name and grade
Identifying features (height, weight, etc.)
Overly personal information (think items related to passwords or security question answers, etc.)
Putting school mascots or favorite colors in the post might be taboo for a note-taking hacker who plans to use those security answers down the road.
I know, we've got enough to worry about. But if we fight the urge to post TMI now, we'll save ourselves some worries when we get a little further down that hacker road.
The City of Boise says its School Resource Officers help investigate or ward off threats, and they look into child abuse issues, bullying, social media, and family dynamics. It's comforting to know they're there, but we can make their jobs easier if we never post info that could cause problems in the first place. Duly noted.
Now back to our stress-free lives. Said no parent ever.