Insurance companies exist to make a profit just like any other business that is not a nonprofit entity. Prior to sites like Facebook existing, one of the ways that insurance companies would be able to deny benefits is to follow injured workers with a video camera. They would be able to show that a worker who have been injured on the job or injured in an auto accident was not as injured as they were claiming to be.
Increasingly insurance companies are now using sites such as Facebook, MySpace, twitter, YouTube, and other sites to attempt to follow what individuals are doing while they’re recovering from their injuries. Some courts are ordering the plaintiffs that are injured to produce their social media site pages to be inspected by attorneys from insurance companies.
Insurance companies are not stupid about this. There have even been cases where they will notice that an injured plaintiff is selling items on eBay or Craigslist and therefore earning income. The insurance company could potentially make that individual ineligible for workers compensation benefits.
A lot of people don’t realize just how much personal information is actually available on the Internet about people. Since it’s on the Internet and is not password-protected, insurance companies can pretty much use it as it is in the public domain. Facebook now has tagging of photos so that people can find you and your photos with simply her name. You need to be very careful about your privacy settings on that site in particular.
Here are some steps to protect yourself from the prying eyes of the insurance carriers attorneys.
1. Big line of thinking is to make sure there is nothing you would not want your own mom or the lawyer from the insurance company to see on any of your social media profiles.
2. Every week or so type your own name into the search engines and see what pops up. If you see something that is unacceptable to you go and then make adjustments to either delete or alter those contents.
3. Make sure to look at the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts so that people who are not close friends of yours I’m allowed to see what they should be at allowed to see.
4. When you receive e-mails or phone request from people you do not know, do not accept those friend request or send back e-mails. Remember that if you are in the midst of a lawsuit, the opposing team has probably done a lot of research about you and knows a significant amount. They may send an underhanded e-mail with personal information in it giving you the impression that you know each other. Be very wary about this.
5. Set up your Facebook account so that an e-mail is a required before you accept a new friend. Remember not to accept any Facebook friends that you do not personally know.