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Law enforcement warns parents against posting back-to-school photos that make children vulnerable to predators

Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Parents should avoid posting too much information about their children as they go back to school, according to a warning from law enforcement.

"Everyone loves to get on Facebook and put these back-to-school pictures," said Brian Kohlhepp, Ross Township police deputy chief, to WTAE-TV.

"It's a great way of sharing what's going on with your friends or family, but what they really need to keep in mind is the fact that the more information they put out there, the more information they are releasing to people who might be using this for nefarious purposes," he explained.

Kohlhepp said that the information posted online could allow predators and identity thieves to take advantage.

"What’s super popular right now is there is a picture of a kid sitting on the front porch holding a sign, and that sign is just full of information," he continued. "A lot of it has the kid's full name, some of it has the kid's birthday. It will have the child's school, the child's teacher, the grade that they are in, and you are putting all this information out there for anyone to use."

Creeps online are often searching for information to help them groom their next victims, but police say the threat is also from identity thieves who use personal information to open credit accounts.

"Birth dates are really dangerous on the identity theft side," said Kohlhepp. "The more information like that they have on your child, the more they have to use to take over their identity and open accounts and credit cards in your child's name and run those accounts up before you even realize those accounts are open."

He advised that if parents post photos of their children online that their privacy settings should be set so that locations are hidden.

Other experts warned against posting photos with children holding signs that identify where they go to school and other personal information.

Here's more about the back-to-school warning:

Back-to-school photo warningwww.youtube.com

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