Local News

Timely Social Media Tips

The Watertown Police Department recently issued some valuable advice regarding online security.

Back-to-school season is an exciting time as kids head back to the classroom — and parents don't want to miss out on getting the perfect photo of their little one's milestone. While many parents want to share their kid's school photos with family and friends, posting these photos online opens the door to online security concerns.

When it comes to sharing school-related photos online it's important that parents carefully consider every photo before uploading it. Does it reveal too much information, including background imagery and street signs? A photo that you take of your kids on your front stoop, in your neighborhood or by the school entrance may contain personally identifiable information, such as your street name, house number, last name or your school's name.

Unfortunately, identity theft is a very real threat when information and pictures are presented effortlessly to online criminals. A more alarming danger is that the photos will make their way to predators.

Consider limiting who can see the photos by posting in closed networks like family groups, turn off location tagging and reduce information about the child’s upcoming school year. It is also important for parents to have regular and open conversations with their kids about the internet and its potential dangers to keep them safe online.

There’s nothing wrong with posting back to school photos but be smart about what’s on social media. Some other options you can put on your back-to-school board are what is the profession they’d like to do in the future, what are their hobbies, likes and dislikes. But as far as pertinent information regarding their identity, try to limit the information you share.