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Poll Call: Is your social media guard up?

By PoliceOne Staff

Social media is here to stay, and while many members of law enforcement preach to stay away from it entirely, the younger generations are growing up using Facebook and Twitter as a regular means of communication. 

Our mission is to keep law enforcement safe by keeping them informed about threats in every form. Threats to police exist everywhere, from tangible dangers on the streets to the not-so-easy to spot dangers behind keyboards and closed doors. The latter form grows as quickly as technology itself — but so do the techniques to prevent it. We've recently published some of those techniques here, and highly encourage everyone to check them out

2,300 of our Facebook fans took a PoliceOne survey to gage just how secure their social media accounts are and what departments are doing about it. Check out the results below.

1. Which of the following social media profiles do you actively use? 

Not surprisingly, approximately 90 percent of responders have a Facebook profile, and nearly 42 percent have at least one more social media profile. 

2.  Do you consider yourself conscious of the information you make available on the above-mentioned sites?

3. If a stranger were to search your name on the internet, do you think they could find out if you are an officer and where you work?

80 percent of those surveyed said they believe they are very conscious about what information they share on social media sites, yet only 31 percent believed their profession and town they worked in were unavailable using an internet search. ​

4. Does your department have a policy in place about what information is and is not okay to display on social media?

Stances on department policy seemed to range widely, with 66 percent of those surveyed answering that their agency does have a social media policy, but only have stated that it was a strict policy. Another 35 percent either didn't know about a social media policy or believed their agency did not have one. 

Do yourself and your agency a favor and spread the knowledge about privacy tips and appropriate online behavior. Speak to your public relations department about implementing a policy if you don't have one, learn how develop a policy that works for your team, and understand it fully. 

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