(NEW YORK) — As children head back to school, the temptation to share your excitement with a first day photo on social media is understandable.
But Donna Rice Hughes, the president & CEO of Enough Is Enough, a non-profit organization that seeks to maximize Internet safety for children and families, is urging parents to think carefully about the information they post.
First and foremost, Hughes encourages parents to double check their privacy settings, and make sure that only friends can view their posts. But, she notes, private posts can still be shared outside of the protected network.
As a rule of thumb: “Don’t assume that any information will not be shared publicly.”
Though it’s become popular to post photos of kids posing with a sign including information like their name, age, grade, school district, favorite activities and some other cute factoids, Hughes recommends keeping details to a minimum.
“Think before you post, nothing is truly private,” Hughes said. “There are unsafe people online.”
For that reason, if you feel inclined to share information about your rising star on social media, Hughes suggests keeping it to grade only, and not mentioning details like school district, which could disclose where your child can be found.
“The more information you give [predators], the easier you make it for them to find your child,” she added.
As parents adjust to the ever-evolving Internet, Hughes reminds us that staying safe online is a team effort.
“If you see a friend not being as careful, warn them,” she said. “We need to help protect each other and help protect each others kids.”
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