Police Warn Parents Against Popular Back-to-School Trend on Social Media

"Less is better," said Deputy Sheriff Tim Creighton of the McHenry County Sheriff's Office when advising parents against sharing their child's information online

Photo: Getty

With the new school year in full swing, police are warning parents about a popular first-day-of-school trend on social media.

Officers are urging parents not to share critical and private information about their children when posting beginning-of-the-year photos.

Oftentimes, these photos feature a child holding a festive sign that reveals the child's school, grade, teacher, and details about them such as favorite food and color, as well as their age.

"We're not saying not to share," Deputy Sheriff Tim Creighton of the McHenry County Sheriff's Office said in an interview with Fox News Digital.

But all too often he sees parents on his own social media feeds "sharing way too much information."

"Less is better," he continued. "Your close friends and family know the important details about your kids, such as the town they live in, the school they go to, their full name. Strangers don't need to know that."

The Sheriff's Office, located in Woodstock, Illinois, recently posted an example of what parents should and shouldn't post about their child's new school year.

Resharing a snap from last year that shows Creightonholding a mock "My 1st Day of School" sign, the sheriff's office blurred out some of his made-up information like teacher name and grade.

"It's that time of year! Don't give predators, scammers, or thieves information that can be used to harm your children, family, or finances," the Sheriff's Office captioned the post, which has nearly 600 shares and more than 300 likes.

RELATED VIDEO: 'Heartbroken' Parents Share Warning After 13-Year-Old Son Dies of Severe Asthma Attack

The original post, which dates back to August 2021, says, "Back to school photos are filling social media feeds everywhere, often revealing personal information about your child. This information - school name, classroom, grade, age, etc. - can all be used by predators, scammers, and other people looking to endanger your child, family, or finances."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up to date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

It adds, "No matter your privacy settings or friends list, it's best to keep personal information on the internet to the bare minimum."

The post discouraged parents from posting their child's school name, age, teacher's name and grade, and other personal information that could be used as a password or security question.

Related Articles