Why you might want to think twice before posting those back to school boards

Back to School

School classroom with blackboard

(WHTM) — It’s officially back to school time, and all the children will be making their way back to the classroom in the next few weeks.

With back to school comes the tradition back to school pictures, but parents might want to think twice about posting some personal information on the internet.

Back To School board example

Many parents will traditionally post back-to-school information for their child on a nicely designed chalkboard or poster board. The information typically includes their child’s age, teacher, grade, and school name. This information can be very dangerous if found by the wrong person.

For example – say a stranger who has bad intentions sees a parent post one of these boards online. This board gives that person all the information they may need to be able to act as a family member who was asked to pick up the child from the school. School security may have policies in place to prevent this, but you can never be too certain when it comes to your children.

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“Any information about your children posted on the Internet is risky and should be avoided as much as possible,” says Terrill Frantz, Harrisburg University Associate Professor of eBusiness and Cybersecurity. “Presently a parent has little idea as to what is important or not to their child when they become an adult, so assessing the risk of posting something today and its impact on your child’s life 10-20 years from now is impossible.”

Frantz continued, saying “moreover, more practically, today, many password challenge questions on websites and phone apps use questions such as the name of the school, or favorite teacher, et cetera; so such “answers” should not be published in the open Internet today as the risk of security breaches in the years to come.”

When asked about what information is safe for a parent to display online about their child, Frantz simply says “none.” The risk factor that any private information could bring outweighs any potential of the fun that would come from showing off your child going back to school.

Back-to-school boards aren’t the only risk that parents should be cognizant of. Many students are still going to be schooling remotely this year, so monitoring your children while their online is also something you should be doing as a parent. “Randomly and occasionally check-in unannounced on the student when they are in the virtual classroom.  Just drop in and look over their shoulder for a minute,” Frantz says.

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