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Alberta Mounties reminds parents to be careful when sharing photos of their children when they return to school.
While many parents love to share photos celebrating their child’s first day of school, the photos can contain sensitive information, the RCMP said.
Predators can use your child’s full name, class, age and school to build mistrust with your child, police added.
Leah Plunkett is the author of Sharenting, a term that refers to how parents and trusted adults share digital information about children, and a faculty member at Harvard Law School. He spoke to CTV News Edmonton from his home in New Hampshire.
“If you share a photo of your child for the first day of school and they have a unicorn backpack or Baby Yoda binder, you are sharing with the world what matters to your child. Things that matter to them,” he said. “And unfortunately there are people, sometimes even within our own networks, we may not be aware of as parents, who can use that information in unfair or even predatory ways against our children.”
Plunkett encourages parents to skip back-to-school photos on social media altogether, but if you want to share those pictures, he has a few tips.
“I urge you not to use your child’s full name, not to include their exact age, I will obscure any identifying information about where your home is located, and I would strongly consider not making it clear about their exact grades or the location of their school. . ”
Apart from that, the police also advised parents to talk to their children about the dangers of strangers and decipher safe words and how to identify trustworthy adults.
Suggestions for children include not giving out personal information to someone you don’t know, having an adult review any photos before you post them online, and if you’re uncomfortable with an interaction or activity, tell a parent or trusted adult.
“We want to make sure that the start of the school year is safe. By knowing the photos and details we post online, we can reduce the risk of using our children’s personal details to exploit their safety and well-being,” said Cst. Lauren Mowbray, Alberta RCMP in a written release. “Children look to us as adults to act in their best interests – both online and in their daily lives.”
With files from Jessica Robb of CTV News Edmonton.