Facebook and Personal Injury Cases: 6 Things NOT to Do
By Peter Nero
Are you involved in a personal injury case? If so, you may want to consider stepping away from – or at least taming – your activity on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
According to Facebook, more than 500 million users are active and half of them log on in any given day. This means that unless your profile is protected, your information is accessible to a wide array of people – most worryingly, the injury attorney on the opposing side of your case.
I want to outline several ways you can help protect yourself online when involved in a personal injury case:
- Don’t keep your profile live – The safest option is to disable your profile for the time being. However, as more and more employers and organizations are using this as a way to communicate, we realize this isn’t always possible.
- Don’t allow everyone to see your profile – If you don’t want to disable your profile, at least check your security settings and make sure your information is properly protected. It’s best to be just viewable to your friends. For added protection, consider making yourself “unsearchable.”
- Don’t post questionable content – When posting photos, status updates, or notes, ask yourself the question, “Who will see this? And, could it be incriminating?” If you feel any of it could be taken the wrong way, it’s probably best you don’t post it.
- Don’t ignore what others are posting – If your friends post photos or status updates that include you, be sure to monitor them closely for the same reason. You can also disable the ability for friends to tag you in photos or in a certain location.
- Don’t ignore wall posts – Monitor your wall posts carefully, or disable comments to your wall completely. This can be done under your privacy settings. Unfortunately, even content your friends post to your wall can be used as evidence.
- Don’t leave up questionable photos or content – Finally, if there are any other photos, notes, or status updates you feel may be taken the wrong way, delete them from your account immediately.
Although the above steps aren’t 100% fool proof, they can be a step in the right direction toward protecting yourself during a court case. Implementing even just a few of these can help save you embarrassment and will hopefully help ensure the court case goes in your favor.