Back to school social media posts could expose personal information, expert says

Warning about school pictures
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WFSB) - Picture boards are most likely already taking over your social media feeds as many are getting ready to head back to the classrooms.

If you look closely, sometimes a student’s personal information can be dangerously exposed.

“Until today no, it’s not something I had thought about I have plenty of friends who have used those chalkboards in the past and I know it’s a fun ritual for them but student privacy is a big deal these days,” said Maureen Fox, an elementary school teacher.

Fox says that technology is such a big part of daily education these days, so it’s crucial that not only parents are mindful, but educators as well.

What you may not know is that information on these boards could put you and your family in great danger.

The Berlin Police Department posted to Facebook on Thursday, reminding parents that posting back to school pictures could “transmit information to potential predators or scammers”.

“This will definitely make me think twice before I post and I don’t want take away any kind of family fun ritual but maybe just tweak it,” said Fox.

That is exactly what Kenneth Gray, a retired Special Agent for the FBI and Senior Lecturer at the University of New Haven says to do.

Gray points out that predators used to go to places where their next victim could be found, like playgrounds for example. Now they just go online.

“A picture board like that that gives information about the child, what the child looks like showing what school they go to maybe show what town they are in that’s all very useful information to a person  who is trying to target a child for a sex crime,” said Gray.

He shares the following tips if you do choose to post your picture boards online:

Each post could be shared with strangers, so be sure to limit the amount of information you put out there.

Be sure to post in private groups like group chats, private social media accounts, or emails.