Protecting Your Case and Plaintiff’s Social Media
We encourage clients to discuss security with their plaintiff’s to ensure their social media data remains safe and uncorrupted. A hacked account may lead to stolen data, fraudulent posts, or even rendering it unrecoverable. A few simple steps and 15 minutes of time protects your client’s information and the outcome of your case.
Here we list the top 4 steps to protect your client’s data for potential discovery requests:
Adjust privacy settings. Over one third of active users on social media sites worldwide accept unknown friend requests, respond to unknown profiles or engage with people they’ve never met. This activity is brought on by having a public account and could lead to a loss of data for your client or the defense discovering information not brought forth by your client. Instructing clients on how to make their accounts as private as possible is key to preventing data from being lost, corrupted, or changed. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat, all have privacy options.
Instruct plaintiff’s not to post about their case, personal information, or interaction with the opposing parties or courts. Plaintiff’s with large social media followings for business, or that engage with 100’s of people on a daily basis, typically object to privacy setting changes. However, a plaintiff might not understand why posting information related or alluding to the case could harm their outcome. Instruct each client to limit all their online posting to groups, message boards, blogs, chat rooms, or friend’s pages; and to steer clear of posting anything related to the case.
Ensure your client uses a unique password for each social media account and email account. If your client owns multiple social media accounts or email accounts, instruct them to change every password to something unique and complex. One hacked account allows threat actors to locate phone numbers, emails, real names, and “hidden” personal information from the remaining accounts. Compromised personal information, or posts created by another party other than your plaintiff, may create non-genuine online data that’s responsive to the case and could impact your client’s lawsuit. Changing passwords prevents malicious individuals from accessing all of your plaintiff’s accounts with one code.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). Enabling 2FA for your plaintiff’s accounts adds another layer of protection and speeds up your collection of social media data. By creating a verification step for new, unrecognized logins, your plaintiff can prevent someone from hacking their account.