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This is the week that many East Texas kids head back to school for the new school year. Tyler, Jacksonville, Bullard, Chapel Hill, Grand Saline, Hawkins, Kilgore, Lindale, Mineola, Mt. Pleasant, Pine Tree, Spring Hill, Westwood, and Whitehouse ISDs are among the districts starting back on Wednesday, August 16th.

With the lunches packed, backpacks loaded with school supplies, and kids dressed in the new uniforms or school clothes many proud parents will be taking pictures of their kids on their first day of school and posting them on social media for all of their friends and family to see. However, if your social media page doesn't have the right privacy settings in place, you could be opening the door for the bad guys.

Before you post that first day of school pic, local police departments urge you to check the picture to make sure it doesn't contain any information that could put you or your child at risk. Personal information like:

  • school bus numbers
  • school signs
  • your house number
  • school logo on uniform
  • a plaque or sign with their teachers' name, age, or your child's name
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This information can be used to gain access to your child or your child's information by the bad guys. Turning to AI and ChatGPT for some additional assistance on the topic, we find other reasons why you should be skeptical when posting those first-day-of-school pics.

Here are 8 other reasons that you should take into consideration when posting a first day of school pic of your child on social media:

  • Privacy Concerns: You could potentially expose personal information, such as the name of the school, the child's full name, and their daily routine. This information might fall into the wrong hands and be exploited by malicious individuals.
  • Consent and Ownership: As children grow older, they might be uncomfortable with these pictures being publicly available although you are the parent and have ownership and the right to post them.
  • Digital Footprint: Anything posted online can potentially become a permanent part of your child's digital footprint. This could impact their online reputation in the future when colleges, potential employers, or others search for information about them.
  • Safety Concerns: Sharing information about your child's location and routine could potentially make them vulnerable to online predators or unwanted attention.
  • Comparison and Pressure: Posting the first day of school pictures can contribute to a culture of comparison and competition among parents. Some children might feel pressured to fit in or meet certain expectations based on the images shared on social media.
  • Overexposure: Sharing too much about your child's life on social media might diminish their sense of privacy and limit their ability to control their own online identity as they grow older.

Of course, posting a first day of school pic is a personal choice, these are some compelling reasons that you should take into consideration when getting ready to hit the publish button on that social media feed.

If you do decide to post your child's first day of school pic online, be sure your privacy settings are set so that only those 'friends' you want to see it actually do.

Here's to hoping the school year gets off on the right foot for everyone - especially those kindergarten kids and parents.

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