Many people assume all of their online communication is protected and private but this is not true. Your online communications may impact attorney confidentiality, be used against you in legal proceedings or lead to civil defamation suits.
Before Posting online consider the following:
- I am completely anonymous online. There is no anonymity online; almost anything can be traced back to its source. Before posting anything online consider the very real possibility that it will be traced back to you.
- Attorney-client privilege. Attorney-client confidentiality only protects direct communication between you and your attorney; whether these communications are in person, by phone or online, they cannot be used against you in court. Your confidentiality is jeopardized if you forward an email between you and your attorney to someone else, it is no longer protected. A breach of attorney-client privilege can seriously harm your case. Do not discuss legal matters on social networking sites.
- Posts and Emails can be used against you in court. Courts are now using online posts and email communications as sources of evidence in criminal and civil cases. It does not matter what your intention was when posting something online, consider how it could come back to haunt you. Social media records can be used to track your location on specific dates and times as well as your relationships and conversations with others. Subpoena’s can be issued and the information used against you in court. If you are involved in a legal proceeding whether it is criminal or civil do not discuss any details of the case online.
- You can be fired for what you do online on my own time. There are few employment protections for online speech! Disparaging your employer or the way you conduct yourself may very well cost you your job. Before you post something online, consider whether or not you would want your employer to see it or if you own a business do you want your customers to see it.
Everything we do on line is open to the world to see; so think long term when you are on line.