see care when posting photos of the little ones

February arrived and along with it the beginning of the school year in Brazilian schools. With the vaccination of children against Covid-19 already happening, more parents feel confident to send their children to face-to-face education. And so, many of them take the opportunity to show on social networks the very cute and tidy little ones wearing the school uniforms.

But the act that may seem harmless hides a great danger. The exposure of children wearing school clothes, whether on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, can help criminals who use social engineering, the act of building a profile of possible victims, with more information about that person’s life.

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What are the dangers of posting pictures of children in uniform?

According to Ana Paula Canto de Lima, president of the Privacy and Data Protection Commission (CPPD) of the Brazilian Bar Association Sectional Pernambuco (OAB-PE), there are several risks with posting images of children wearing school uniforms. She points out that these social engineering scammers do extensive research on data left public or even things archived by the government.

“With my name, he arrives in CNPJ or even Instagram, LinkedIn. Go see my parents if I have children. It helps the coup they’re orchestrating. They use it to ask for money, hide a new phone number, saying ‘dad changed my number’, then ask for Pix, for a loan”, highlighted Canto de Lima.

With the same method, they can reach the smallest. “Suddenly even saying that he kidnapped, that he is asking for ransom. Or depending on the level of the criminals, go for the actual execution of kidnapping. It can be on the level of ideas, we believe and pay the ransom, or really have this consequence that we don’t want when we provide a photo of the son in uniform”, he amended.

What precautions should parents have?

The president of the CPPD of the OAB-PE says that parents should be careful when posting photos of children wearing school uniforms on social media, but not only that. It is also necessary to be careful when publicizing the image of the little ones in recognized places, such as clubs, soccer or ballet schools. That is, something that facilitates the physical location or even the assembly of the profile for a possible blow.

Another detail pointed out by Ana Paula Canto de Lima is to check in places on social networks, when you are in that environment. This leaves the user vulnerable, regardless of whether it is at school or even a restaurant, for example. Especially when the profile is not private. If you really want to show the location, she advises doing so after leaving.

With the return to school, many parents are posting pictures of their children wearing school uniforms. Image: Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil

It is also important not to share passwords with other users, in case of a locked profile, and not to click on suspicious links, so as not to lose your account. “This is repeated in relation to children. If you put on a uniform and take a picture, you expose yourself to a situation that can turn against you. It is very important to have this awareness so that we are not victims of ourselves,” she added.

And can the school publish images of the students?

In the middle of 2022, it is quite normal for any type of establishment to have a social media account. This includes schools, which also show part of the students’ routine on Instagram, for example. But for that, the institution needs to have a parental authorization. Any data of a minor person must have the consent of those responsible, whether to store or share.

“The school that wants to expose the image of a child on social media needs express and highlighted consent. It may be in the contract, but even if it is in the contract, it doesn’t mean that when she is going to exhibit, she doesn’t have to ask again”, concluded Ana Paula Canto de Lima.

Ah, uncles and aunts! This also goes for relatives and friends. Anyone wishing to post photos or videos on social media of children who are not their children must ask their parents to share the material.

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