Breaking News
More () »

Be careful how much information you share with those first day of school photos

As kids head back to school, those memory board photos parents post on social media might make their kids susceptible to identify theft. Here's what you should know.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Very soon your social media feed will likely be flooded with parents sharing first day of school photos.

To mark the year and remember some of the special details, some parents create a memory board to have their kids hold for the picture. It might include the name of their school, their teacher, their age and their birthday.

But you might want to think twice before sharing that image.

13 ON YOUR SIDE's Meredith TerHaar spoke with Chris McKenna, founder of Protect Young Eyes, to find out why.

"Parents who are advertising things about school and are doing the same thing around birthday of their child, they have already given the digital world 50% of what's necessary to steal someone's identity," McKenna said.

RELATED: BACK TO SCHOOL | What parents should know about school safety

"Look at your friends and follower list. When was the last time you critically purged or analyzed? Who is it that you just said yes to over the years? Then imagine printing off that photo of your child with all the information and handing it out to every single one of them," he said. "There is that dissonance between the analog reality (and actual reality) we would never do in real life, yet that is more or less the digital reality."

McKenna wants to remind parents that our digital images are vulnerable to a lot of bad intent.

"There are a lot of bad actors out there that want to do bad things with photos. Is that the norm? No. Do I want parents living in this constant state of fear that there is some evil predator outside their window? No, because I also want kids to get outside and play. That fear breeds an unhealthy over-protectionism, but we don't need to help that along in the digital world," McKenna said. "Parents might say I'm afraid to let my child ride their bike down the road because of all I see in the news, yet here is this photo with 10 pieces of data on the stoop of our house that I have no problem posting on social media." 

"I think we just need to be aware of that and go hmm, it's OK to post a picture of my child but maybe I post a little bit less, or maybe I am going to go through my friends and follower list and make sure that these are all people I would be comfortable handing that photo to," he advised.

For more insights from McKenna, visit his website.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Before You Leave, Check This Out