It takes a very specific, very special kind of person to knowingly violate the law – and an even more special kind to talk about it on Facebook after the fact. I’ve said time and again in my posts that you need to watch what you say online – or, at the very least, make sure you’ve got your privacy settings properly configured. That’s a basic lesson that everyone should be required to learn before going on the ‘net. The thing is, there’s a lot of people that still don’t get it. They post their personal information on Facebook, let slip things they really shouldn’t on Twitter, and generally just embarrass themselves in a forum they probably don’t realize is entirely public.
As it turns out, there’s yet another reason to watch what you say online (but only if you’re a criminal) – law enforcement is well aware of the fact that social networks are the lifeblood of modern communication, and the majority of law enforcement agencies now actively use social networks for everything from outreach programs to tracking down criminals to gathering evidence. So, that $200 you’re bragging about stealing on Facebook? Yeah, the cops appreciate the photo evidence. That assault you tweeted about last night? Chances are, if you haven’t gone to the police about it already, they might come to you. That campaign of abuse and harassment you plotted on Google +?
I don’t think I need to continue – you get the idea.
This is just one more way in which social media has integrated itself into our daily lives. Still, not all organizations utilize it effectively. Some feel that they don’t have the time, others are unable to access social media during work hours, still more lack the proper equipment, and a very small camp feel that there’s no useful information to be found.
As always, the infographic can be viewed below, and you can click on it for a larger image.