At Caldecott & Forro, PLC we regularly represent individuals and small businesses in contested litigation. On too many occasions in recent years we have had our client’s social media postings, emails, and text messages taken out of context, “Twisted”, or subject to “spin.” Obviously, employers, customers, and even your neighbors and friends can view your social media posts. Anyone can preserve and transmit your emails, text messages, Twitter posts, and any other social media post to third parties. Your teenagers, unknown to you, are likely sending and receiving all manner of inappropriate content. Many people seem to believe that social media posts will disappear in time or can’t be attributed back to them. Neither of these beliefs is accurate. Even the so-called anonymous applications can be penetrated by hired experts. That said, in the environment described above we recommend you routinely take all of the following precautions.
- Password protect your computer, tablet, cell phone, and similar internet connected devices with a password of at least 8 characters. When possible, make sure those characters include a combination of both letters and numbers.
- Never allow anyone to use your internet connected devices unless you are personally supervising that use.
- Do not download anything from a source you can’t personally identify. Be particularly aware of emails that look like they may be from friends but contain only a link you are to click on.
- Carefully consider the content of every social media post you make and apply this simple test: “If this post was shared with the world and attributed to me would I have any regrets?”
- If you are engaged in or planning to engage in litigation, discuss with your legal counsel content you have posted or intend to post online.
- Become a content reviewer of what your litigation opponent posts rather than posting material they can study. Knowledge is power – never educate your opponent.
- Have in place high quality anti-virus protection and keep it up-to-date.
To the extent an opposing party has not protected their own social media posts, we often can obtain information to strengthen our clients’ cases. At Caldecott and Forro we provide free initial consultations to clients and potential clients on legal matters associated with life changing events.