Important Advice to Keep Your Child Safe When Posting Back-to-School Pictures on Social Media
It's back-to-school time in the Tri-State and that means your Facebook and Instagram feeds are about to be flooded with pictures of the kids outside the front door of their house getting ready to head off to their first day of a new grade with a caption that likely includes something like, "Where does the time go? I swear it was only yesterday I was holding you in my arms at the hospital." Or, "I can't believe you're in <insert grade> already. Believe it when they say the time goes by quickly." You even be one of those parents, and that's totally OK. My kids are 17 and almost 15. Both will be in high school this year, a junior and freshman, respectively, and yes, the time does go by quickly. There's a good chance my wife will get a post a picture of them on their first day too like she's done in the past. I'm not here to discourage it. What I want to do is share some advice I saw on Facebook about how you post it that I hadn't thought about.
My friend, Taylor Heady is a reserve deputy with the Spencer County Sheriff's Office and shared a story on Facebook about a call she received from one frantic mother a few years ago.
When I first began my LEO [Law Enforement Officer] career, I will never forget a call I had where a frantic mom went to pick up their child from school and he wasn’t there. Turns out the dad that hadn’t been in the picture for YEARS was able to get information from Facebook of where the boy went to school and picked him up.
Taylor went on to suggest being mindful of how much info you share when posting the picture. You can share the picture, but maybe you don't include the name of the school they go to, for example.
Another way to keep your child safe is to be aware of who will see your post. Is it set to Public where anybody and everybody could find it, or is it set on "Friends Only?" Facebook has a few options including customizing exactly who can see it and who can't.
It's unfortunate we can't freely share whatever we want without fear it could come back to bite us, or in the case Taylor referenced, unintentionally put our children in danger. However, as we all know, there are bad people in the world. There always has been, and as parents, it's our responsibility to try and protect our kids from them. Both in the real world, and online.