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As law enforcement officers and leaders, you are the community’s first line of defense. Your health, safety, and wellness, as well as that of your agency members, matters. Every two months, the Spotlight on Safety offers you and your agency fresh online training and a quick reference to the latest trends and research on topics related directly to your law enforcement duties! You will find webinars, podcasts, online training modules, articles and publications, and more that can be used for roll calls, in-service training, or self-directed learning. Use the downloadable and printable posters as daily reminders and to motivate yourself and others. It is all about you and your safety—you matter!

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This Spotlight on Safety theme is Officer Safety and Social Media.

Cybersecurity and Officer Safety—Increase Awareness, Assess Your Information, and Protect Your Digital Footprint

Over the course of a career, law enforcement officers are exposed to an endless number of bulletins, trainings, and briefings regarding safety recommendations and best practices. However, threats to the safety of law enforcement officers is constantly evolving in today’s digital climate, where an individual's life is an open book on the Internet.  Officers must adapt to the changes and make every effort to review their own online profiles, continually assess their vulnerabilities, and protect their online presence.  Ignoring or not understanding these online threats to officer safety does not make them go away. Being safe online translates to safety on the streets!

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Printable Posters

Cybersecurity and Officer Safety

How easy is it to search your personal identifying information? 

Doxing is an officer safety Issue

Doxing is an officer safety issue!

 
 

Resources Available

In September 2016, the Global Advisory Committee published the report Understanding Digital Footprints: Steps to Protect Personal Information on how cybercrime is an ever-growing issue for state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) law enforcement. With advancements in technology, coupled with the oversharing of personal information, law enforcement not only needs to ensure the public’s safety online but also be cognizant of the digital footprint that people are leaving behind.  This document provides material designed to assist law enforcement personnel in protecting themselves and their families from becoming cyber targets: protecting personal information, cyber do's and don’ts, and links to further cyber training and resources.

In October 2016, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, the IACP launched its Center for Social Media. The goal of the initiative is to build the capacity of law enforcement to use social media to prevent and solve crimes, strengthen police-community relations, and enhance services. IACP’s Center for Social Media serves as a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement personnel develop or enhance their agencies' use of social media and integrate Web 2.0 tools into agency operations. The Center works closely with the Defense Personnel Security Research Center (PERSEREC); the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council; and the Global Intelligence Working Group, the National White Collar Crime Center, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), U.S. Department of Justice, and IACP's committees and sections.   The Federal Bureau of Investigation published the Law Enforcement Bulletin Interactive Social Media: The Value for Law Enforcement. Based on the 24-hour availability of social media, some agencies’ communications centers monitor the sites. Some departments assign the public information officer, and others give the responsibility to watch commanders. Department heads must assess their organizations to see where the program will fit best. Use of social media helps agencies engage members of the community who otherwise may not interact with law enforcement and, in turn, builds public trust and improves relationships with the public.

The Real-Time Open Source Analysis (ROSA) Resource Guide was developed by the National Network of Fusion Centers, in partnership with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Office of Partner Engagement for the Information Sharing Environment, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the associations represented on the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council, to assist law enforcement agencies and fusion centers in understanding the lawful and appropriate use of open source information, focusing on social media.  It is designed to help law enforcement agencies and analytic personnel understand the potential tools and resources available to support law enforcement operational and analytic activities, while ensuring that privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties concerns are addressed.




 

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2016-VI-BX-K003 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.