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Chalkboards: The Writings on the Wall

Criminals use these social media postings as an inroad to our most treasured and personal activities. Awareness of what online information you release is critical to personal and home security.

Las Vegas, NV, Nevada, United States – September 18, 2022 /MarketersMEDIA/

Written by,

Michael Johnston

Chief Security Advisor at Boss Security Screens

Our family’s safety and well-being weigh heavily on many of us. Unfortunately, staying at home with them is not always feasible, especially with today’s conflicting schedules torn between one’s work and a child’s school hours. With school back in session, I am always mindful of how susceptible our kids may be to the dangers of well-intentioned caregivers who may unknowingly be putting them in danger. For many years NOT putting your child’s name on a shirt, backpack, or lunchbox became common practice. However, in light of new technologies, I must address a new social media craze with some insight that may keep an intruder from your doors.  

In a recent trend, Newsweek and other outlets have cautioned parents, teachers, and school organizations from posting personal information that can lead to identifying a child and the schools they attend. Law enforcement has echoed the same concerns and has done so for years. Most of us like to remember meaningful days or milestones in our lives, which often include our children or friends. As reported by media outlets, a popular way of marking these occasions, such as the onset of school or a birthday, is with “mini chalkboards” commonly found in department stores and proudly held in photos posted on social media. Sadly, criminals use these social media postings as an inroad to our most treasured and personal activities. These tidbits of seemingly innocent information displayed on “chalkboards,” including name, age, grade, school, and teacher’s name, make tracking your child easier. Unfortunately, a predator may use this information to pose as another student using online resources to contact your child or find your physical address. In such circumstances, awareness of what online information you release is critical to personal and home security. Sometimes, we get complacent with older children, feeling they should know what precautions to take, but safety reminders never hurt. Please have conversations with your student, regardless of age. Additionally, voice your concerns to school officials participating in such dangerous activities. Posting detailed personal information is not a wise practice.

As adults, we often forget that posting pictures of ourselves and our activities is just as dangerous. I’ve seen many posts from front yards listing garage sale items or address inclusion on invites for celebratory occasions such as wedding receptions, anniversary celebrations, or game day barbecues. Every nugget of information in a photo, from the people depicted in the image to the items in the background, makes location identification easier. To further one of my investigations, I used a photo of a couple posing in front of a distinct heart-shaped sculpture to determine where the phone was taken. Finding the matching sculpture and its location only took a few minutes. I also established the date of the photo from postings written by local vendors on their welcome boards. Their daily specials provided the information I needed to figure that out. Deciphering information only takes a little creativity and the ability to put two and two together.  

Please be responsible in your postings on social media. Be aware of your surrounding and the things you include in your posts. Someday, you or a family member may return home to discover you have an unwelcome visitor at your home. Worse yet, and God forbid, a predator takes your child. Preventative measures help to ensure safety. While we can not avoid every pitfall, it does us no good to throw a bad guy a softball of information and then let them hit it out of the park. Here at Boss, we want you to be safe. So never let your guard down.

Until next time…be safe and be prepared!   

*The author is a paid consultant and product representative for Boss Security Screens. Boss makes security screens for windows and doors. The information provided in this blog does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials are the author’s opinion and for general informational purposes only. It is recommended that you consult an attorney, certified trainers, or licensed providers before acting on any information provided. This website may link to other third-party websites. Such links are for the convenience of the reader and are not endorsed by the author. 

Contact Info:
Name: James Kerr
Email: Send Email
Organization: Boss Security Screens
Address: 6718 W. Sunset Road, Suite 100 Las Vegas, Nevada 89118
Phone: 800-203-5644
Website: https://bosssecurityscreens.com/

Release ID: 89081796

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