The Better Business Bureau is urging parents to use caution when posting back-to-school pictures of their kids on social media.

Why Should We Be Careful?

We've all seen the photos of kids holding the first day-of-school information boards. They often include the child's full name, their age, the grade they're going into, and the school they're attending. It seems harmless until it falls into the wrong hands.

How Could the Information Be Used?

Much like the advisory given a few years ago about adults sharing their high school graduation pictures, BBB officials say information about your kids' school on social media is valuable to identity thieves. Chances are, you may use things like their school mascot or the child's birthdate as the answer to a security question for banking and credit card sites.

Then there's the fact that you could be revealing your child's name, birthday, and where they're going to be during the day to people with less-than-honorable intentions. It would be very easy for someone to use that information to gain your child's trust.

Can We Protect Ourselves?

The BBB advises checking your privacy settings regularly and being mindful of what kind of information you have on your account. You may want to remove information that others can see, like your telephone number or address.

If you do want to share a picture of your child on their first day of school, make it a generic photo, with no additional information other than that it's their first day. And check the privacy settings on those specific photos. It's possible to limit the audience, even further than your general settings, and only allow loved ones to see the images.

Finally, the Better Business Bureau advises watching out for phony friend requests. Don't 'friend' strangers and think twice about accepting friend requests from people you're already friends with. It could be an imposter trying to get your information and friends list.

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