Dadtography's Top 5 Back to School Photo Safety Tips for Parents
It's almost that time of year again - back to school! This is a photography blog, so it may not be your typical dad blog post about back to school. Rather, we'd like to post a few tips related to back to school photo safety for parents and kids. Below are our top 5 tips to help keep our kids safe.
Consider placing a sticker or cover over any laptop webcams your children access.
Let's start with webcam safety for our first tip. You saw the Dateline story about hacking webcams, right?
It's not very difficult (like, at all) to hack a webcam and with as much time as our youth spends in front of devices like laptops, desktops and smartphones that have cameras built-in, it may only be a matter of time before your webcam is hacked.
There's a super low-tech way to help keep your kids safe - no firewalls or MIT-grade expertise required. You simply buy yourself a cover that closes the lens of the cam when not in use.
Check out a few really great options for webcam covers we found on Amazon. Buy a few extra and give them to friends and neighbors, too!
Don't embroider your child's name on their backpack.
Yeah, it's cute and makes for cute photo ops. But embroidering names on backpacks provides predators with an element of familiarity and gives them an "in" with your child.
Think about it, if your son or daughter is walking home and they hear "hey, kid - come here!" they aren't likely to respond. But if they hear their name, they'll be more likely to because the person is demonstrating familiarity to the child.
If you're worried about the backpack going missing or being mistaken for someone else's, put the child's name on the inside or somewhere not visible to strangers passing by.
Try to avoid posting public photos of your children that show where they go to school.
This goes for young children but even older kids as well. Avoid posting (you and them - if they're tweens or teens with phones) photos showing what school they go to.
Posting photos showing their location makes them easy targets for any predators on the hunt. Don't give them any opportunities at all to target your child.
This doesn't mean you should avoid photos on or around school grounds. Just make sure that your photos don't show any recognizable background landmarks, street signs, building names, etc.
Talk to your kids about "checking in" online and the potential dangers.
Why is checking in and geo-targeting so dangerous?
Consider turning off geo-tagging on your phone to avoid this information showing on public photos. Turn it off, because even if you're not showing anything in your photo that indicates where the photo was taken, geo-tagging automatically adds the location of the photo and allows for searches based on that location.
A predator could do a search "near them" and find images of any children taken recently in that area.
Avoid sharing photos of other children without their parents' consent.
I know this is one tip that is easy to overlook or forget, but the fact of the matter is that not all parents want photos of their children on (your) social media accounts.
If you're taking group photos of children, make sure it's okay with the other parents before you post or share.
If you post the photo, you can obviously take it down. If someone else posts a photo of your child, it can be much more difficult to remove.