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How Private Are You? Protecting Yourself from Legal Fallout on Social Media Websites

With all the changes made to Facebook in the last few years, there has been a ton of talk about privacy settings. When adjusting privacy controls, Facebook users can decide who can see their pictures, who can see their status updates and even who can see things other people post on their wall – but just how private is private and do these settings always work? Recent legal proceedings have revealed that even if Facebook users take the normal precautions to protect their privacy on Social Media sites, their profiles and the profiles of their friends and family can be used against them in legal proceedings.

In one example, a woman was suing a chair manufacturer claiming she became bedridden after falling off one of their chairs, but the defendant's lawyer subpoenaed her Facebook login and password and found pictures of her happily standing in front of her house after the accident occurred. The picture was then introduced as evidence that she was not bedridden, as she had claimed in her suit. People stand to lose so much from oversharing on Social Media websites, so the personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin want to offer you the simple Dos and Don'ts of Social Media networking.

  • Do adjust your privacy settings so that you do not have a searchable profile. This allows you to control the number of people who can view your content—only people you reach out to will even know you have an online presence
  • Don't allow people to tag you in their photographs. Even if you have an unsearchable profile, a tagged photo of you on someone else's page will be searchable and could alert others to information that you wish to keep private.
  • Do examine your profile for inconsistencies. Even if you think your page is completely private, you should make sure that there is no evidence—written or photographic—about you on your profile (or anyone else's) that is inaccurate.
  • Don't make friends with everyone. If you don't know a person very well, or aren't sure what type of information they might post about you or on your profile, play it safe and choose the "ignore" button when their friend request comes.
  • This may go without saying, but we recommend against posting anything about a job, a client, or, of course, a pending law suit, on your profile. Anything you post, can likely be used against you in a Court of Law.

If you have been injured and are considering seeking compensation from the parties responsible, you need to be able to focus on your recovery. Talk to an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer from Arnold & Itkin and learn more about the many factors that can help you recover damages (or keep you from receiving the compensation you deserve.) Your consultation is free and completely confidential, so contact a Houston personal injury attorney at our firm today!