HARTFORD, Conn. — Back-to-school season can be an exciting time for parents, but could you be sharing too much information about your child online?
Many families are anxious to share big milestones with their families in real life and online, but your loved ones might not be the only ones getting that valuable information.
Scott Driscoll, president of Internet Safety Concepts, said protecting your child isn’t only about what you choose to share online, it’s also about who gets to see it.
“I think that falls on us to set our accounts to private and know who's in our world but also keep in mind that no matter what I share, someone can screenshot it, someone can capture it and share it on their own,” Driscoll said. So, we really have to trust and know the people that we're sharing.”
On the first day of school, it was likely you saw your social media feeds full of cute back-to-school pictures and although they can be cute, some of them can reveal a little too much.
“When it comes to a lot of the things we do for school we're putting our kids full names, their teacher's name, where they go to school but we also tell them that if a guy in a white van pulls up and says here's some candy or what's your name, we tell them to run away,” Driscoll said. “We have to make sure the guidelines we're teaching our children, we have to keep in respect when we go online because it's important to help protect them.”
Driscoll also warned about people using the metadata from photos to learn more about you if they’re knowledgeable enough.
Sometimes they don’t even have to do that to gather that information, depending on what else is in the picture you’ve posted.
“Sometimes we underestimate the power of what’s in our backdrop,” Driscoll said. “It could be a number of a house or a license plate on a car. There’s a lot of things that happen besides that very proud picture."
Erika Suarez and her wife have chosen not to show their daughter’s face on their social media pages.
Suarez said they’ve gotten creative with how they show the back of her body or her hands and feet.
For the Suarez family, it’s not only about safety but also consent.
“My kid doesn’t know what they’re doing, and they can’t give consent to have their face and picture all over the internet,” Suarez said. "So that’s not something that we felt was really appropriate. If and when she wants to do that and actually understands what that means then we’ll have that conversation."
Although they’d love to share more of their daughter’s cute moments online, Suarez said it’s important parents set boundaries that work for them.
“At the end of the day, my family is really important, my spouse's family is really important but at the end of the day my hub ,and my unit is what's most important. That's the core,” said Suarez.
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