Parents Who Share Info About Their Kids Online Are a Cybersecurity Risk. Here’s Why.
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Parents Who Share Info About Their Kids Online Are a Cybersecurity Risk. Here’s Why.

It’s adorable to hear about the newborn, the birthdays, the accomplishments. But it is just giving more information to future identity thieves.

By CHELSEA JARVIE
Mon, Dec 5, 2022 8:59amGrey Clock 3 min

There are few things more heartwarming than seeing parents posting about their children on social media. Their names, their pictures, their birthdays, their accomplishments, their teachers, their pets. What parents wouldn’t want the world to know how wonderful their child is?

In recent years, however, such “sharenting” has gotten some pushback for violating children’s privacy, and depriving them of choices about their online identities. How, some people are asking, will my 21-year-old daughter feel one day about what I’m sharing now?

But what has gotten little attention is how sharenting also should raise concerns about their children’s future online security.

Starts before birth

It all, of course, seems so innocuous and precious, and starts even before birth. Parents post images of their scans, with due dates included, to social-media sites. Both parents are usually tagged. The follow-up is a birth announcement, which normally includes the child’s full name, date of birth, time of birth, weight and hospital. Milestones are next: the child’s first steps, first holiday, first pet, first word, best friend, favourite food.

If these milestones sound familiar, it is because they are routinely used as answers to the security “challenge” questions that we use to get into online accounts when we forget our passwords. One survey on password choice found that 42% of British people use either a pet’s name, a family member’s name or a significant date as their password. You want to hack into somebody’s account 10 years from now? Just look back online and see the name of a first pet or a first-grade teacher. It’s all probably going to be there for the taking.

Barclays Bank warned that by 2030, after another decade of parents gleefully and unknowingly sharenting at current rates, 7.4 million identity-theft cases could occur a year. The Identity Theft Resource Center warns that by combining information from social media, such as name, date of birth and address, along with the troves of hacked personal data available to buy cheaply on the dark web, such as Social Security numbers, a scammer has all the details needed to open up a bank account or take out a loan in a child’s name.

The pandemic has compounded this issue.One study found that many schools encouraged parents to post videos to social media to keep children connected, increasing the volume of personal information about children’s home lives being shared online.

Thousands of photos

By their fifth birthday, the average child will have around 1,500 photos of themselves shared online. This means that by the age of 13, when children are allowed to use social-media sites themselves, there could already be almost 4,000 photos depicting them online. Those figures don’t include children of parent influencers, who build careers around posting information about their children to a worldwide fan base completely unknown to them, with unknown trustworthiness.

An emerging threat to children is the use of AI technology used to create deep fakes: images, videos, GIFs, sounds or voices manipulated to look or sound like someone else. Given the vast volume of children’s images and videos posted online by their parents, malicious creation of deep fakes could be used by cyberbullies or school bullies.

When posting information online, parents don’t normally ask their children for their consent. Yet consider this: The U.K. Safer Internet Centre’s survey on young people’s experiences online found that 46% of them felt anxious and out of control of their information when they discovered posts about themselves online that they hadn’t been aware of. A further 44% felt angry, with only 15% seemingly being indifferent.

Coming explosion

It’s clear that this information is a ticking time bomb, and likely to result in an explosion of embarrassment and angst for our children as they grow up, as well as exposing them to identity theft.

What can we do about it? For one thing, parents should be aware that their shout-outs about their children—however well-meaning—could cause real long-term damage to the people they most love.

In addition, our social-media privacy settings can help control the audience that sees our posts. Ensuring we are comfortable with which social-media platforms we use, how our profiles are set up, how public our posts are, and what information we are giving away can help us make informed choices on how our children’s digital footprints are shaping up.

Understanding the real-world consequences of sharenting allows us all to make better-informed choices on our decision to post or not to post. We all want to give our children the best lives they can possibly live. Let’s not undermine it by constantly telling the world how wonderful they are.



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New York Watch Auctions Record Uptick in Sales in the Face of Market Slowdown
By LAURIE KAHLE
Mon, Jun 24, 2024 4 min

Luxury watch collectors showed ongoing strong demand for Patek Philippe, growing interest in modern watches and a preference for larger case sizes and leather straps at the June watch sales in New York, according to an analysis of the major auctions.

Independent and neo-vintage categories, meanwhile, experienced declines in total sales and average prices, said the report from  EveryWatch, a global online platform for watch information. Overall, the New York auctions achieved total sales of US$52.27 million, a 9.87% increase from the previous year, on the sale of 470 lots, reflecting a 37% increase in volume. Unsold rates ticked down a few points to 5.31%, according to the platform’s analysis.

EveryWatch gathered data from official auction results for sales held in New York from June 5 to 10 at Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s. Limited to watch sales exclusively, each auction’s data was reviewed and compiled for several categories, including total lots, sales and sold rates, highest prices achieved, performance against estimates, sales trends in case materials and sizes as well as dial colors, and more. The resulting analysis provides a detailed overview of market trends and performance.

The Charles Frodsham Pocket watch sold at Phillips for $433,400.

“We still see a strong thirst for rare, interesting, and exceptional watches, modern and vintage alike, despite a little slow down in the market overall,” says Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of the California-based pre-owned online watch dealer BobsWatches.com, in an email. “The results show that there is still a lot of money floating around out there in the economy looking for quality assets.”

Patek Philippe came out on top with more than US$17.68 million on the sale of 122 lots. It also claimed the top lot: Sylvester Stallone’s Patek Philippe GrandMaster Chime 6300G-010, still in the sealed factory packaging, which sold at Sotheby’s for US$5.4 million, much to the dismay of the brand’s president, Thierry Stern . The London-based industry news website WatchPro estimates the flip made the actor as much as US$2 million in just a few years.

At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire
Richard Mille

“As we have seen before and again in the recent Sotheby’s sale, provenance can really drive prices higher than market value with regards to the Sylvester Stallone Panerai watches and his standard Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1a offered,” Altieri says.

Patek Philippe claimed half of the top 10 lots, while Rolex and Richard Mille claimed two each, and Philippe Dufour claimed the No. 3 slot with a 1999 Duality, which sold at Phillips for about US$2.1 million.

“In-line with EveryWatch’s observation of the market’s strong preference for strap watches, the top lot of our auction was a Philippe Dufour Duality,” says Paul Boutros, Phillips’ deputy chairman and head of watches, Americas, in an email. “The only known example with two dials and hand sets, and presented on a leather strap, it achieved a result of over US$2 million—well above its high estimate of US$1.6 million.”

In all, four watches surpassed the US$1 million mark, down from seven in 2023. At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire, the most expensive watch sold at Christie’s in New York. That sale also saw a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM52-01 CA-FQ Tourbillon Skull Model go for US$1.26 million to an online buyer.

Rolex expert Altieri was surprised one of the brand’s timepieces did not crack the US$1 million threshold but notes that a rare Rolex Daytona 6239 in yellow gold with a “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial came close at US$952,500 in the Phillips sale.

The Crown did rank second in terms of brand clout, achieving sales of US$8.95 million with 110 lots. However, both Patek Philippe and Rolex experienced a sales decline by 8.55% and 2.46%, respectively. The independent brand Richard Mille, with US$6.71 million in sales, marked a 912% increase from the previous year with 15 lots, up from 5 lots in 2023.

The results underscored recent reports of prices falling on the secondary market for specific coveted models from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. The summary points out that five top models produced high sales but with a fall in average prices.

The Rolex Daytona topped the list with 42 appearances, averaging US$132,053, a 41% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, with two of the top five watches, made 26 appearances with an average price of US$111,198, a 26% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Perpetual Calendar followed with 23 appearances and a US$231,877 average price, signifying a fall of 43%, and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak had 22 appearances and an average price of US$105,673, a 10% decrease. The Rolex Day Date is the only watch in the top five that tracks an increase in average price, which at US$72,459 clocked a 92% increase over last year.

In terms of categories, modern watches (2005 and newer) led the market with US$30 million in total sales from 226 lots, representing a 53.54% increase in sales and a 3.78% increase in average sales price over 2023. Vintage watches (pre-1985) logged a modest 6.22% increase in total sales and an 89.89% increase in total lots to 169.

However, the average price was down across vintage, independent, and neo-vintage (1990-2005) watches. Independent brands saw sales fall 24.10% to US$8.47 million and average prices falling 42.17%, while neo-vintage watches experienced the largest decline in sales and lots, with total sales falling 44.7% to US$8.25 million, and average sales price falling 35.73% to US$111,000.

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