Social Media Quick Tip: Choose Your Facebook Cover Photo Wisely

ArcadiaPD300
The Arcadia (Calif.) PD used a patch image as the cover photo on the department's Facebook Timeline.

The most prominent feature of Facebook’s new Timeline is the cover photo. It’s a nice wide area in which individuals or brands can post an image that highlights who they are. For police agencies, an appropriate photo might be a department photo, or a nice landscape image of the police facility, etc.

Individual officers, however, need to pay careful attention to what they post here. These cover photos aren’t protectable. Anyone and everyone who comes to your page will see this photo. As police officers, it’s not recommended that you put up a photo of your family for obvious safety reasons.

If it’s a personal page, this isn’t the place to post a photo indicating, in any way, that you’re a police officer. Instead, take great care in choosing your cover photo, considering all the officer safety and career survival issues.

For investigators, the cover photo might be a real opportunity if your POI’s haven’t exercised caution in what they place there. Remember: Those who would do you harm are employing the same social engineering techniques as you do on them.

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