How posting a photo of your child’s first day of school is putting them at risk

Feb 19, 2019 by

If you have posted a photo of your child’s first day at school or shared an image of them blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, you’ve probably put them at risk of having their email or bank account hacked.

“As a parent, you’ve potentially leaked the first school and date of birth of your child and these are some of the facts used by many organisations to verify that you are who you say you are,” said academic director of the Australian Computing Academy James Curran, who co-authored the Australian digital technologies curriculum.

Associate Professor Curran has helped develop a set of challenges under the Schools Cyber Securities Challenges program that will help high school students learn about the risks posed by social media and other online activities from the other side by acting as hackers.

The first challenge, which was launched on Tuesday and is available for free to all schools, gives students mock social media accounts, banking applications and online shopping accounts and asks them to extract personal information.

Nathaniel Jones, 15, who is in year 10 at Sydney Boys High School, said the challenge has taught him about the hidden content in photos and how to remove it before posting images.

“We’re looking for primary and secondary information, the kinds of things you might not realise are on social media,” Nathaniel said.

Nathaniel Jones, 15, who is in year 10 at Sydney Boys High School, said the challenge has taught him about the hidden content in photos and how to remove it before posting images.

“We’re looking for primary and secondary information, the kinds of things you might not realise are on social media,” Nathaniel said.

“We’re learning about things like location tags in photos. You can’t normally see them but if you inspect a photo you can see where it was taken.

“Many people don’t realise that. But there are ways you can remove the information before you post it online, so that’s something I’ve learnt.”

“We’re learning about things like location tags in photos. You can’t normally see them but if you inspect a photo you can see where it was taken.

“Many people don’t realise that. But there are ways you can remove the information before you post it online, so that’s something I’ve learnt.”

Rishi Wig, 15, from Sydney Boys High, had a go at the second challenge on cryptography and said it revealed how encrypted messaging applications such as Whatsapp work.

“When the user enters a word or phrase, it has to be put into a key, so when a person attempts to look at it, the words are a group of jumbled letters,” Rishi said.

“But there are ways to crack the key or make it stronger.”

continue: How posting a photo of your child’s first day of school is putting them at risk

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