Police Curb Social Networking Use: Criminals Kept At Bay

For the majority of us, tuning into our favorite social networking site be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and so on poses no problem. Depending on our circumstances, we have the freedom to go on the sites as much or as little as we choose, add or block certain friends, upload, share and tag photos to others, update the status feature and so on. But for some, this may not be quite plain sailing.

Take the police force. In the past we’ve brought you posts in which we spoken about how the boys in blue are now using social media to their advantage, but can it also have a detrimental effect on their job and colleagues around them as well as the individual themselves with identity theft? According to the dailymail.co.uk the answer is yes.

Although officers use the networking sites, its the way in which information is being presented on the pages which could have an overall effect. For example, its come to light that in some circumstances the criminal fertility could in fact use details to uncover police assignments as well as using blackmail on officers.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy has raised his concerns to some 12,000 officers and staff within the Greater Manchester Police by stating that, “Due to the force’s successful work in tackling organised crime groups, it is recognised that criminals will attempt to target officers and staff to gain information about policing operations. Such an opportunity may arise by contacting or gaining personal information about members of the force through their use of social networking websites.”

Officers will have to be vigilant as to what they post on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and a dating website uniformdating.com, the police have been warned to be careful with unofficial “GMP” groups.

Along with subsequent warnings, all have been told that if officers carry out improper conduct, then they could be disciplined.

Those in the force be it those working at the forefront or behind, have been told not to provide personal details, photos which may point to the GMP or the force’s logo, details of vehicles they drive and so on.

Recently in the public sector, nurses and healthcare workers were also told to be vigilant as to what they post on social networking sites. They have been told to keep home and work life separate as patients confidentiality could be compromised. Caution on what to do has been forwarded to those within the profession with news that if sensitive information should fall into the wrong hands, then their registration could be stopped.

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