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Posting first-day-of-school pictures can give predators too much information | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Starting a new school year can be exciting for students and parents.

And parents may want to share their kids’ latest milestones with the world, but police say, when you’re sharing that first-day picture of their new chapter, make sure you’re paying attention to what you post of your children on social media.

“Predators are also excited about going back to school, and they’re sitting in the corners waiting for information,” said social media expert for Kollege and Kareer 4 Youth Marcy Thornhill.

That information could be discovered in ways you would not expect.

Henrico Police and social media experts said if your child is holding a sign in their back-to-school picture, do not put the child’s school name, grade or teacher on the sign.

Even the most minor details could give away too much information. Thornhill suggests not posting pictures with your child’s school colors, either. Also, look at the entire picture before you post because Thornhill said that’s precisely what predators do.

“Maybe a name tag hanging off of their backpack, they’ll zoom in on that,” Thornhill said.

Henrico police said it’s essential for any photo backgrounds to be generic.

“Really, make sure you find a nondescript background. That could be some trees right behind us right now, anything that’s not going to share where you might live or where you might work,” said HCPD spokesperson Karina Bolster.

Even if your social media is private and you only allow friends to look at your posts, there are loopholes.

“People do backdoors, so if it’s a friend of a friend and you post and tag, so again, just looking at those settings,” said Thornhill.

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