“Back-to-school” is here and to commemorate this time of year, many parents will be posting pictures on social media of their child holding a chalkboard or sign with details about their exciting first day back, including:

–   The child’s name

–   The name of the child’s teacher

–   The name of the school the child attends

–   The child’s height

–   The child’s interests, favorite food, colors, etc.

While it’s wonderful to be able to share updates with friends and family, it is also a good idea to be aware of just how much information you share on social media, and with whom, in order to keep the information you post private & secure. Lookout offers tips to protect your (and your children’s) personal information online this back-to-school season.

Consider limiting the information you share online
In recent years, online scams and data breaches have surged, and bad actors often use the personal information they collect about someone to try and access their online accounts or trick a person into falling for a phishing attack. When posting or sending information online, you may want to consider how much information you feel comfortable sharing. In the case of the LinkedIn and Facebook breaches in 2021, the combined leaked information from online profiles included phone numbers, physical and email addresses as well as personal and professional details.

Check your account and application permission settings
It’s also a good idea to check your account security settings and customize your controls for all your online accounts and devices.

In the case of social media accounts, almost 1 in 4 people (25%)* have their Facebook profile settings open to the “Public” – meaning anyone can view and collect personal details from the account. Attackers can easily scrape this information from social media posts and attempt to use this information to log accounts or attempt identity theft.

You can also look for any other third-party applications that you may have granted authorization to your social media profiles in the past. In the event any of these other applications are breached, it is possible they could expose information from your social media account.

Avoid creating passwords with personal identifiable information
It’s a good idea to always use strong and unique passwords and avoid using personal information that could be guessed. The same recommendation stands for security questions to your online accounts  – try and select questions that do not coincide with information that may be available online (for example, the name of your best friend, or the name of your child’s school).