If you are a law enforcement officer with a family, then you need to protect them as much as you protect yourself. There are some important steps that you can take to ensure that they are secure when you’re with them and when you’re not.
- Ensure that your children use aliases when they sign up for social media accounts – if you have kids that are old enough to be online, don’t allow them to use their full and complete names. Children are not always discrete online, and might accidentally release personal information. Make it so that no one can find them. Encourage them to use real first names only on their accounts, and don’t connect with them using any account that people could find you under. Otherwise, people may make the connection, putting them (along with you and the rest of your family) at risk.
- Stress the importance of privacy with schools – while schools should never be releasing personal information, emphasizing what the repercussions could be for children of law enforcement is essential. Avoid signing consent forms that allow schools to publish your child’s image unless you implicitly know what they will be used for what what type of information will accompany the photo.
- Make sure your family has an escape plan – whether it’s during a natural disaster or another incident, your family should always have a comprehensive escape and emergency plan. If you are on duty, they need to have other people they can safely turn to as well.