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Social Media: Approach With Caution

More than ever people are using social networking websites to communicate with each other, stay in touch with friends, and to keep up with the news. In fact, according to a Pew Internet Research study 67% of adults online use social networking websites. This substantial usage means a number of things, but most importantly BEWARE WHAT YOU POST ONLINE!

As the use of social networks has become more common, so has the number of people turning to them in order to conduct background on research individuals. Of course most of us have heard horror stories about bosses busting workers who claim to be sick, but turn out to be enjoying a day off instead. What you may not have heard of however is the many ways opposing counsel can use this information to build a case against you.

By employing investigators or conducting a simple Google search, a relatively adept person can find virtually anything publicly posted. So what can you do to protect yourself?

Be familiar with privacy settings and how to effectively use them

Most websites like Facebook have easy to use privacy settings that can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting your privacy. One such example is going into “Privacy Settings and Tools” and making sure that only your friends can see future posts. Opposing attorneys and investigators are free to make use of anything publicly available and this significantly limits their ability to see anything. There is also a setting that allows you to review what someone else posts about you. Use this feature to prevent people from unknowingly tagging you in places or posting photos of you.

Be careful who you are friends with.

If you begin accepting friends that you don’t really know, you may unknowingly accept someone who is looking to utilize your information in litigation. When accepting a friend think of it as giving them the okay to see your private information.

Above all else, don’t over share information.

The most important thing to remember is that anything you post online will leave a digital footprint. Of course there are the obvious things like not posting your social security number or address, but there are other things that are also important to keep private. One such thing is your location. Posting photos of a vacation while you’re on it? This is basically an open invitation for technology savvy thieves. After making effective use of privacy settings, a good rule of thumb is when in doubt don’t post it.

Stay tuned for future postings regarding how to protect your online identity as well as tips and tricks for avoiding potential snags in litigation.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

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