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Cybersecurity experts warn parents about posting back to school photos

A simple online photo might seem harmless but including certain information can give hackers what they need to take advantage of you.

TOLEDO, Ohio — As kids prepare to head back to school, parents are likely to snap the perfect "first day" photo. While a simple photo on social media platforms like Facebook might seem harmless, including key information about your child in that photo could be something hackers use to take advantage of you. 

Dr. Ahmad Javid, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Toledo, said having anything that gives away a specific location on a picture of your child can be unsafe. It's also something hackers could take advantage of, if they know key information about your child like the name of their teacher or their grade level.

"Let's say you post a picture in front of your school for example, now a lot of people know which school you actually go to," Dr. Javid explained. "Again, just from your pictures and other information, it wouldn't be hard to guess your age and things like that."  

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He also warns parents to watch what their teens post on social media. 

"Kids also [will] share like 'oh, this is my locker number and school' and things like that, which can get out of hand. And you know sometimes students and parents have no idea how that information can be used by others" Dr. Javid continued.

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Tech experts also warn parents should check the settings on their phone and social media accounts. When posting pictures of your children, make sure identifying settings such as your location aren't turned on when posting photos. 

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