Have your kids recently started their fall term in school – or are they already back? And like any loving parent did you capture that moment with a first-day-of-school photo proudly shared on your social media?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this too is now dangerous, thanks to the constantly increasing number of awful people in the world.

What Scammers Do With Your Child’s Photo

Phishing and other scams rely on information to succeed. A first-day-of-school photo may provide scammers with the name of your child and the school he or she attends. That information might lead them to the child’s social media accounts, where they will learn more about his or her friends, relatives, interests and hobbies, and perhaps even when they’ll be away from home at a Little League game or gymnastics class.

Now they have enough personal details for a phone call or an email to you – little Amy has been kidnapped after gymnastics, and we want $10,000 for her safe return. In that situation, most panicked parents will not think to verify the story before acting.

What You Should Do

First, obviously, think twice before sharing any information about your children online. It’s terrible that it has come to this, but a 2018 study from the bank Barclays predicted that “sharenting” — the term for parents sharing photos and information about their kids online — will be linked to over 7 million identity fraud incidents annually by 2030. And the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI), especially voice cloning, can make these scams seem even more authentic.

You can always email photos directly to friends, relatives, and other people you know rather than posting them – that way you still get to share that happy moment without giving anyone else access to it.

If you still would prefer to post it, adjust your privacy settings by making your accounts private, so it will be shared only with the followers you wish. Also, considering taking the photo down (as well as any older photos you posted) after a certain time, once everyone has had a chance to see it and/or comment on it.

Privacy = Safety

We cannot stress this enough - every phishing, ransomware hack, and identity theft scam is made possible by information – and too often, it’s information that we freely share about our families and ourselves. But there is a way to enjoy social media and other online activities while limiting your exposure to thieves and scammers.

Our online privacy protection program, IronWall360, scans the Internet for any sites where someone’s home address, phone number, and other private data are accessible. We then contact that site to make sure that content is removed. And we don’t take “no” for an answer.

Does it work? Our renewal rate in our program is over 90%. Yes, it works. Find out more about why this service is needed more than ever, and why we’re the top choice for public servants in our space.

Learn How We Can Protect You


Ron Zayas

CEO & Chief Strategist

Ron brings decades of expertise in marketing, advertising and e-commerce strategies to 360Civic. There is not one aspect of any client project that is not enhanced through his experience, insight, and... Read more

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