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Back to School: Police say parents’ popular social media trend not that innocent

HUBER HEIGHTS — A local police department is telling parents why a popular back-to-school social media trend may not be as innocent as it seems.

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Huber Heights Police say it is not a good idea for parents to share their kids’ personal information online.

It is part of the department’s ‘Think Before You Post’ campaign and they want parents to know the dangers of sharing their kids’ information online.

News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson shared insight from Huber Heights officers during News Center 7 Daybreak about how easy it is for predators to steal kids’ identities.

They may even show up to things like sports practices or after-school clubs just by what parents share on social media about them.

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Nick Lambert, Huber Heights Police Public Information Officer, says posting kids in their school uniform or in front of the school will just let predators know where exactly they spend five days a week.

A quick Google search will tell them exactly where their child goes to and from school.

The parents will also share their kids’ interests like sports or clubs, letting predators know they will be around the school or fields after hours.

Lambert told Robertson it does seem innocent on the surface, but predators will use that information for themselves. He says this is a good time to remind kids as they go back to school.

“The safest thing to do is always travel in groups. Always let an adult know where you are. If you’re going to be traveling home alone, try to call somebody and be on the phone with somebody as you’re traveling,” he said. “Pay attention to what’s going on around you. If you see a car start to slow down you need to go back to school as soon as possible or if you see a suspicious vehicle or something, a vehicle that has been there every day, but they don’t pick anybody up you need to let an adult know right away.”

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Lambert says parents should keep in mind that predators can take what they post and use it for themselves.

Robertson reports when parents share their child’s full first name, where they go to school, and how old they are, that’s giving people enough information to steal their identity.

“You can have somebody come up and say hey, I’m here to pick you up,” said Lambert. ”You’re just putting out information for somebody to take your child basically and you’re putting the school in a bad position. You’re putting your kid in a bad position and we want to keep everybody safe.”

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Officers highly recommend when parents post their child on social media, make sure it’s on accounts that are private and only the friends they choose to accept will see them.

“Don’t post anything public whatsoever, they can take a picture of your child and they can trade that picture to other people,” he told Robertson. “They can hold on to it, they can print it out and take it up to that child and say, ‘Hey, look I have a picture of you,’ you know, they could try to blackmail the child.”

Lambert said parents can still make these posts, but maybe include things like their favorite school lunch or favorite subject, things that show their personality but do not help the predators find them.

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