Today’s police officers are struggling to do their jobs and not be assaulted by the public more than at any time in their history. Officers are constantly looking over their shoulders for any number of attack by those they have arrested. Being put in this position can be hard for you as a police officer, but when you have a family to worry about as well, the risk goes up significantly. Here are a few good tips to help you maintain the privacy and safety of yourself and your family.
1. Have a plan in place to keep your family safe at all times. For example, when you tell them to go straight home, they should be prepared to do so immediately and without question. Be sure you have a safe route home planned out and that you remind your family of this plan on a frequent basis to ensure they understand how and why.
2. Teach your wife and children not to tell those who ask that you are a law enforcement officer. While some institutions like the school your children attend, your bank, and so on do need this information, the whole world does not need to know. The fewer who know this, the lower the risk that someone might target your family.
3. Watch what goes on social media. There is nothing wrong with you and your family having social media accounts. However, if you do, everyone needs to know what they can and cannot post online. You might be shocked at how easily someone can link a social media account such as FaceBook to your family and to your address so that they can target you or your family.
4. Never post pictures of yourself in uniform online. This simply makes it much easier for those will ill intentions to find you when you are not on duty. A single picture of you can be used not only to find you but to connect you with your family, putting them once again at risk of attack.
5. Change your passwords on a regular basis. Most of us are guilty of using the same passwords for month after month. Even worse, many of us use the same password for multiple accounts. In both cases, it becomes much easier for a would be criminal to hack into all of your accounts. This could lead to something as financially ruinous as identity theft or lead them right to your front door.
While there are a number of laws in place designed to protect the privacy of law enforcement officers and their families, they are not enough. You are responsible for your own safety and privacy as well as that of your family if you have one. While you should be proud to be a member of law enforcement, it has become one of the most dangerous careers in the country, be sure you are doing your part to protect yourself and those you love.