California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 11

Protecting Yourself and Your Family American Military University (AMU) recently hosted Request Information Be Removed During the webinar, Deater discussed ways that a webinar on this topic as part of its Law Enforcement officers can proactively remove personal information Presenter James Deater, who spent more than 23 years as a included specific details about what forms to submit, what Webinar Series ( Maryland State Trooper specializing in wiretaps and other forms of electronic investigation techniques, provided advice for how officers can protect themselves. “Any officer could end up in a situation where you do everything right in accordance with agency policy, but the incident is captured on video and it looks wrong to the public. It happens all the time and as soon as your name is released to the public, you become a target,” said Deater. “You may not be able to stop it, but you can at least make it difficult for people to find your private information.” Here are some recommendations Deater made about how to protect your personal information: • Be aware of security and privacy settings on your accounts. Be selective about who you share information with and limit how often you post about your location (especially if it’s your home). • Routinely update computers, devices, and software with the latest security fixes. from the dozens of websites that sell this information. He identification documents to send, and how long it will take for information to be removed. To request access to the recorded webinar, please send an email (using your agency email address) to James Deater ( Here are a few sites to consider removing your information from: • Google Earth ( This free software allows individuals to access street views of locations. Deater recommends that officers submit a request that Google blur out your home, house number, vehicle, and any other identifying details shown on Google Earth. • SPOKEO ( • PIPL ( • ZoomInfo ( • Whitepages ( • CheckPeople ( • Use anti-virus software. • BeenVerified ( • Pay close attention to links and attachments in • Intelius ( email messages. Do not open anything that looks even remotely suspicious. If it’s legitimate, the person can always send it again. • Add protection to your email, social media, and online bank accounts using two-factor authentication techniques. • Choose unique, strong passwords for each of your accounts and change your passwords regularly. • Remember that anything you post on social media might be used against you. Once it’s online, you cannot take it back. It can take a considerable amount of time and effort to properly submit the forms, especially if officers are also removing their spouses and children from such databases. However, the time it takes to remove this information is worth it to protect—or at least deter—a malicious attack on an officer and his or her family. ■ About the Author: Leischen Stelter is the editor of American Military University’s premier blog, In Public Safety ( She writes about issues and trends relevant to professionals in law enforcement, corrections, fire services, emergency management, and national security. WINTER 2015 |