How LEOs can reclaim personal privacy online
Founded by a former police officer and computer forensics expert, OfficerPrivacy removes personal information from top people-search sites, giving LEOs an extra measure of security
Sponsored by OfficerPrivacy.com
By Cindy Coleman for PoliceOne BrandFocus
Personal information found freely on the internet is being used to target LEOs. The security risk is real to them and their families. Daily news headlines reflect an increasingly hostile environment for LEOs – “MS – 13 gang planning to target off-duty officers at their homes,” “Targeted attack on at least seven Indianapolis officers’ homes in one night,” “Philly police officer facing backlash” "Protesters target home of Idaho officer" and "Protesters target home of Raleigh Chief." Because of this growing hostility, LEOs are on high alert, not only on the job, but even at home where they are hoping to unwind and relax off duty.
After spending 25 years in law enforcement, Pete James is using his experience, love and respect for the profession to make life safer for LEOs. James is the founder of OfficerPrivacy.com, a site that allows you to quickly remove your personal information from the top 30 people-search websites, giving LEOs back their personal privacy.
“My whole idea is to make this as easy as possible for you. Live your life and relax,” said James, who specializes in digital forensics, information systems security and is a licensed private investigator. “In these roles, I use these sites to do my research. I know what information is available out there and how to find people.”
What’s the risk to me and my family?
Free sources on the internet can give anybody access to a law enforcement officer’s name, home address, and sometimes email address, phone number, birthday and even the names and information of family members.
“You didn't ask for your address to be blasted all over the internet, but it's there, and it's a risk to you and your family that should be mitigated,” said James. “Anybody can knock on your front door and confront you about their arrest or question why you sent their family member to prison.”
When an officer is involved in a controversial incident, he or she has enough to worry about. Knowing that his or her home address is out there is one more source of stress the officer shouldn’t have to endure.
HOW Can I remove my information from the internet?
People-search websites allow you to remove your information from their sites, but it can be confusing and frustrating.
You must identify each website that shows your information, then figure out that site’s unique removal process. This seemingly simple task can take hours and hours.
“The good news is, OfficerPrivacy.com has done the difficult work for you. We’ve identified the top 30-people search sites and give you links directly to their removal pages. We have simple-to-follow instructions for each site. We also give you a way to keep track of everything you’re doing so you don’t have to have a desk full of post-it notes," said James.
He added, “It gets better. You can remove family members’ information with just one OfficerPrivacy.com account.”
Can I trust privacy services?
There are other privacy services that promise to remove your data from the internet. Ironically, some of these belong to the same companies putting your information out there in the first place.
OfficerPrivacy.com is based in the United States and staffed by all former sworn law enforcement who take their jobs very seriously. OfficerPrivacy.com keeps only minimal data about their clients and it is always encrypted.
This increases privacy and helps LEOs feel more secure. “OfficerPrivacy doesn’t hide you from the government, make you invisible or put you in a secret witness protection program,” said James. “The goal is to break the connection between your name and your home address and give you an extra layer of privacy.”
Safety, security and peace of mind
By removing yourself and family from the top 30 people-search sites, you'll get your privacy back, feel more secure and can relax when off-duty versus being “on-guard” all the time. Risk is reduced for LEOs and their families from persons with criminal intent searching them out to cause potential harm or harassment or even members of the media persistently pursuing the latest on an investigation.
“Immediately upon signing up, LEOs receive access to our custom software that makes opting-out a breeze. We provide a help resource for each site and a way to keep track of it all. The beauty of our software is its ease of use. If you can send an email, you can use our software,” said James.
As a privacy service developed by a former LEO for LEOs, law enforcement departments, associations, unions and individuals, officers will be less at risk in an increasingly hostile, digital world and feel safer knowing their personal information has been removed from free access sites on the internet.
OfficerPrivacy is offering a special to PoliceOne members: FREE access to OfficerPrivacy.com software for two weeks.