tim burrows

Parents are putting their kids safety at risk. Are you one of them?

As a parent there is nothing I want to do more than celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of my children. Screen shot 2014-05-03 at 3.53.35 PMWhen they come home from school with a great grade or score a goal in soccer, when a teacher sends a note home and tells us that our son stopped a bullying situation, I beam. They get lots of praise and rewards for their great efforts. I always want to share my parental their victories with everyone!! Call it my own little ‘humble brag’.

Honestly who doesn’t want to do that? I mean, some days they cause us parents so much frustration that when the good things happen we want to shout it from the rooftops!

I’ve lived with law enforcement for a long time. Tim is a police officer (make sure you follow him @T_burrows ) that is very active on social media. He talks to organizations about online safety, cyber awareness and responsible social use and every time I’m about to put our children’s accomplishments on social I hear him in the back of my mind with all his safety messaging.

  • Don’t include names and pictures.
  • Don’t show locations where you are.
  • Don’t show their school.
  • Don’t show any type of identification.

Sometimes, all the rules can really kind of take the fun out of my humble brag moments. Always trying to live up to the complicated “rules” of child safety. (That was a joke…simmer down).

Have we shared things about our kids, our lives, locations, vacations and other information that maybe we shouldn’t have? Sure…who hasn’t? But, as Tim has said, “We will never make it easy. We will never gift wrap our children for the worst degenerates that society has to offer.”

What he means by that is for anyone to try to build a profile of our family it will take them a lot of work to do it. They might have pictures but they don’t have names. They might get names but not know for sure those are our children’s names. They will never get pictures, school names and children’s names all in one place.

Can all that information be aggregated together? Can it still be done? Yes, there are hundreds of ways to get all that information in today’s age, but we won’t make it easy for anyone. We won’t gift wrap the information.

Here’s an example that I came across today. I shouted at Tim across the house;

“Hey, this guy just put up a picture of his child, his child’s school name, his teachers name, his child’s name and his own name all in one share!”

I was so proud that I recognized all the errors in one place.

All identifiers have been edited out. There were 7 in total.

All identifiers have been edited out. There were 7 in total.

OK, that was my second thought…my proud parent instinct came first and I thought, “That’s a great moment, way to share.” Then the safety parent jumped in.

I asked Tim to share 10 tips for keeping it safe, while being a realistic parent on line…something we both try to live by.

1.)  No names with pictures, ever.

2.)  Instead of names, monikers…DS (dear son), DD (darling daughter)

3.)  If you have to tell the world where you are, post it as you are leaving the location

4.)  Never post children’s school name

5.)  Never post you are apart from your children

6.)  Don’t post future plans with dates/times

7.)  Always know what ever you post, no matter how private you think it is, it can be shared outside of your control

8.)  Cyber vet (check out any online) who follows you that you don’t know

9.)  Never post security information (passport, drivers licence, SSC/SSN numbers)

10.) Talk to your children about online safety

All of us parents want to brag about our children. We need to remember thought his isn’t our parents’ generation. We don’t use a telephone or write a letter to humble brag. We post a pic, a video or change our Facebook status to “Feeling Proud.”