Cathy Pedrayes has a message for parents who are proudly publicizing their children’s achievements on social media.
A cyber security professional named Pedrayes wrote a now-viral post on a popular back-to-school tradition.
“What should you not share on social media? On the first day of school, chalkboards were used “Pedrayes stated this in the video, which has received over 2 million views on TikTok.
“It’s not too bad if it just says first day, but some of them contain the child’s name, teacher’s name, school, favorite sports or activities, and you might not want a bunch of strangers knowing that.”
Pedrayes explained that witnessing parents share chalkboard posts year after year inspired her to create the video.
“In general, people don’t know how much they overshare on social media,” she explained.
Pedrayes, a veteran television producer, also recommended parents to remove any distinguishing traits from images.
“When your kids are younger, putting their school uniform or sports uniform reveals where your kids are most days of the year,” she explained. “It’s just more sensitive data.”
Names on backpacks or lunchboxes, house numbers, and vehicle plates are other photo information to omit.
“A lot of instances, cyber crooks do use that information,” said Pedrayes.
Pedrayes emphasized that posting on social media exposes people to personal security risks.
“The robbers that robbed Kim Kardashian in France recently admitted to gathering the majority of the information from her social media account,” she stated.
“And there was a Japanese pop diva who was wearing sunglasses while shooting photos for her social media, and her stalker pinpointed her location because he could see the railway station reflected in her glasses.”
Corporal Kenneth Hibbert Jr. of the Prince George County Police Department’s Community Policing Unit in Maryland concurred with Pedrayes.
“With technology and more people at home,” Hibbert told TODAY, “we have more hackers taking advantage of everyone.” “Right now, children and senior persons are the most vulnerable members of society.”
“Is this still important if your account is private and you know pretty much your whole following?” a commenter on Pedrayes’ article inquired.
While Pedrayes advised withholding such facts due to people’s capacity to grab screenshots or hack into accounts, it’s critical to note another essential reason: the majority of child luring and kidnapping occurs by someone the victim knows.
According to the FBI, there were 365,348 complaints of missing children in the United States in 2020.
According to the US Department of Justice, “there are three distinct types of kidnapping based on the identity of the perpetrator: kidnapping by a relative of the victims or ‘family kidnapping’ (49 percent); kidnapping by an acquaintance of the victims or ‘acquaintance kidnapping’ (27 percent); and kidnapping by a stranger to the victims or’stranger kidnapping’ (24 percent).”
“It may be an ex-spouse or a family member with whom you no longer communicate,” Hibbert explained.
“Because you put your child’s information out there and share it, anyone may masquerade as a relative or pay someone who looks like that person’s culture or identity. People must be cautious about what they share.”