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Law Enforcement Facebook Privacy Guide

Facebook Privacy- Controlling Tagged Photos -­‐ You have the option of deciding who sees what type of information. One important setting to control is “Photos Tagged of You.”


If a friend of yours takes a picture of you and posts it on Facebook and tags you in it, don’t you want control on who gets to see this photo?


If you want to change who sees this information, go to Privacy Settings> Customize settings> Photos and Videos I’m tagged In> Edit setting. Facebook automatically places the setting on “Friends of Friends,” allowing friends, as well as friends of friends to see the photos and videos that you are tagged in.

Know Your Friends -­‐ It is important to continually manage who is on your friends list.

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Federal agents, officers, and military members have lost their security clearances due to "associations" with individuals on their Facebook profiles. These associations may connect a former acquaintance or distant friend who now has criminal ties or who is not a law abiding citizen.

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This has led to issues in background checks and security clearances.

Key things to Remember -­‐ Be sure that you know who your friends on your Facebook profile are. Quite often, people will just accept any and all friend requests without thinking about who the person requesting them is.

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    It would be wise to use the “Customize” setting on your Facebook account for every piece of information. This would ensure that any information you display would not be available for anyone to view, including:

    • Who views your photo albums

    • What information is displayed in your friends “News settings”

    • Contact information


Though this guide was presented to provide information about Facebook, one of the most popular social networking sites, consider your exposure on other public sites such as MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.


In addition to the officer safety concerns outlined above, criminals use information such as address, phone number, and other biographical data to further the commission of identity thefts and other crimes. In addition, web crawler programs regularly search public Facebook profiles to gather information such as phone numbers, e-mail address, etc. Once this information is obtained, it could be used for telemarketing, become part of public search databases, or for other commercial purposes.


Ensuring your privacy not only protects you but your family and reputation as well.

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