How Privacy Scans Can Help Those in Law Enforcement

Quick Answer

Personal privacy scans can help law enforcement officers remove sensitive information from people finder sites to offer more privacy and safety in their personal life.

A female police officer wearing her uniform smiles while standing next to her police car.

For police officers, correctional officers, parole officers, lawyers and judges, working in law enforcement comes with risks. Unfortunately, those risks can include threats to their privacy.

Information such as an address, a phone number or other personal information appearing online can be dangerous for someone working in law enforcement. A personal privacy scan that identifies and removes information that threatens their privacy could help protect the safety of these workers.

Threats Faced by Law Enforcement

Law enforcement and legal professionals put their safety on the line during their job, but they may also face threats in their personal time when people with criminal intent gain access to their personal information. That's why some states have laws that prohibit the sharing of personal data about law enforcement officers.

Some of the reasons law enforcement professionals may need to keep their personal information protected include:

  • Avoiding harassment: Criminals who have interacted with law enforcement officers may seek their personal information to harass them in person or over the phone.
  • Attempted influence: Certain parties may use personal information to intimidate or threaten judges and other elected officials in charge of decision-making.
  • Ongoing investigations: Investigations into law enforcement actions often attract a lot of attention from the media and others.
  • Contact by former inmates: Correction officers may feel threatened in cases where a former inmate wishes to contact them.

How a Privacy Scan Can Protect Your Information

A personal privacy scan is a service that combs people finder sites, which are websites that collect and sell personal information, and tells you if your information appears there. Once you have that information, you can contact sites and request removal yourself, or the scan service may be able to do it for you.

For example, Experian's personal privacy scan provides a free scan to tell you what information is exposed and on which sites it appears. You'll also get insights on what to do next to make sure your information is protected. Users can start with a one-time free scan or upgrade for recurring scans and help with data removal.

The types of information a privacy scan can find exposed include:

  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Relatives' names and other information
  • Age

In addition to addressing the specific needs of law enforcement personnel, privacy scans can help protect against identity thieves, hackers and robocallers who exploit the information posted about you online for their own criminal plans.

Other Ways to Protect Your Personal Information

Even if you manage to scrub your data from people finder sites, there are some other steps you should take to protect your personal information further:

  • Restrict or reduce social media use. Social media can be a weak point for privacy protection online. Use the most restrictive privacy settings and consider creating an account using a pseudonym.
  • Don't duplicate passwords. Using the same password for multiple accounts can open you up to hackers. Once they figure out how to access one account, your other accounts will be vulnerable. Instead, use a unique password for every online account and enable multifactor identification when possible.
  • Shred paper documents. Protect yourself against identity theft and other invasions of privacy by shredding documents that contain personal information.
  • Monitor your credit. Unexpected account listings on your credit report can be a big hint that your personal privacy has already been compromised.

The Bottom Line

Law enforcement officers and others in the law enforcement community can help protect themselves from security threats by using a privacy scan. If you are associated with law enforcement, you can check to see how much of your information is online for free today with Experian's personal privacy scan service.