Introducing the SmithLaw Social Media Series

Mon, Nov 5, 2012

General Legal Issues

As SmithLaw forges ahead in our social media efforts, we will also be discussing social media and its legal implications. For this first post, we are examining: “Are You Under Surveillance?”

In a nutshell, yes. Social media is a great way to keep someone under surveillance. The more they share, the easier it is to find out what they are doing on a regular basis. Now, we are not always talking Big Brother here…since social media displays as much of your information and location as you want it to. The more social networks you are on, the more chance someone is going to know more about you than your own mother might. Therefore, keep that in mind when writing your bios, posting your vacation photos, and checking in.

Hopefully you safeguard your information as much as you feel is necessary. Some things to consider are:

  • Do not automatically turn on location-based information.
  • Do not check in when you get there, maybe save it until when you leave–if at all.
  • Do not announce to the world that you are on vacation
  • Do not upload pictures you would not want a boss or your parents to see

You say: “I have high security settings and/or use a pseudonym.” We say: “Doesn’t matter—someone might be friends with your boss. Or that cute guy/gal you just became friends with might have unsavory intentions.” You say: “I’m not really worried about my boss finding out—they don’t do social media. And just my friends pay attention to what I’m doing.” We say: “Job recruiters regularly search for people online before hiring and they may be more connected than you know. Or your best friend might be your worst enemy later.”

Social networking is fun and has its place, but a little fun can get serious quickly when it goes too far. SmithLaw attorney Christopher D. Smith thought this infographic from mediabistro.com was a fun way to show you some ideas of what to post and what not to post. Next time, we will be discussing “How Social Media and the Law are Connected.”

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