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Law Enforcement Facebook Privacy Guide

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As was the case for information such as photos, Facebook will automatically set the privacy setting for these options to “Everyone.”

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If you do not wish for someone to be able to search you by name, it is important that you change this setting to “Friends Only.”

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Imagine that a suspect you arrested gets out of jail and wants to look you up on Facebook. If you do not have your privacy settings customized, you risk handing your own personal information and the information of your family and friends right to the suspect.

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In addition, if a member of the media or a defense attorney finds information that could be damaging to your credibility or of "media interest"; you risk the possibility of this information being released to the public.

Facebook Privacy -­‐ Some officers are protected by virtue of having a common name. If you have a common name like John Smith, due to the fact that there are so many "John Smith”s that would be listed in a search, it would be harder (but not impossible) for somebody to find you.

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If you have a very unique name, however, it would be easier for the person to find you. In addition, if you have a profile picture or yourself, it would obviously assist a suspect in locating you on Facebook.

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If you list your employer as "Montgomery County Police", obviously it will be easier for a suspect to find you. A recent search for people on Facebook with "Montgomery County Police" listed as their employer yielded over 200 results.

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Removing your profile from Internet search

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    Under the “Applications and Websites” settings on your “Privacy Settings” page, you have the option of removing your profile from an Internet search (i.e. Google) if someone were to search your name on a search engine.

    • The setting is automatically enabled. To disable it, go to your Privacy Settings> Applications and Websites> Public Search> Edit Settings and deselect this option.

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      You can also remove yourself from being "searcheable" on Facebook itself.

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