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Be careful of your digital fingerprint

It has been a year since our blog on the term ‘Divorcebook’ however with recent statistics and the growth in social media we thought it was worth another look.

It has been a year since our blog on the term ‘Divorcebook’ however with recent statistics and the growth in social media we thought it was worth another look.

Social media has undoubtedly become a huge part of most people’s everyday, personal and professional lives. There are dozens of different platforms to use, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to name a few, that allow people to share news, post pictures and keep in contacted with one another.

There are many benefits to social media, professional and otherwise, however there are some real downfalls that can loose you your job or even spring up on you in court.

Inappropriate Posts
With the rise of professional networking sites like LinkedIn it is becoming more apparent that how you represent yourself on social media will have an affect on your work life. There are dozens of cases where an individual has posted inappropriate material to their social media profiles and, as a result, been fired. The company are within their rights to fire someone if they believe the posts online could tarnish the company’s reputation.

The way an individual represents themselves on their social networking sites can have a serious impact on the way they are viewed in their professional working life. According to a survey from a London based mobile research firm, one in ten job seekers aged between 16 and 34 have been rejected for a job based on something they have posted on social media.

A Second Look at ‘Divorcebook’
A 2015 survey from Censuswide was commissioned by a national law firm following a significant rise in the number of their clients citing social media as grounds for divorce. The survey had over 2,000 respondents and found that one in seven married individuals have considered divorce because of something their spouse had shared on social media. As well as one in five respondents admitting they have daily rows with their spouses about their social media usage. Social media is getting the blame for these statistics, however it is the decision of the users how they wish to use the platform which is essentially the cause of divorce.

The survey also revealed a similar proportion admitted to searching their spouse’s social media accounts for evidence of infidelity. Which, following recent news about an adultery website being hacked and threatening to reveal the identities of its 3.7m users, is not all that surprising. The users of this site are taking the risk of leaving their digital fingerprints for cases of infinity if the marriage came to divorce.

Digital Fingerprint
The important thing to consider, especially in a family legal matter, is whether your social media history could be used as evidence in court. In America, it is becoming increasingly popular to have social media provided in the courtroom as evidence. A US survey of family solicitors revealed a staggering 81% of them saw a rise in social media platforms used as evidence in the last five years.

Facebook, the leading social media platform, has revealed via their Facebook Government Request Report that they received 2,366 requests involving 2,890 accounts from UK law enforcement agencies in 2014.

Think Before you Post
From this article and the information given on social media we advise all our clients to think before they post – especially if involved in a family legal case. The type of evidence that can be used is dated photographs, conversation threads and comments. It is important to consider these factors when posting online to avoid anything being used as evidence against you in court.

If you have any questions or have any concerns about what is mentioned above do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts on 01792 468684.

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