If you are the victim of a work-related or non work-related incident and have been receiving benefits, or have a pending claim for damages, BEWARE: someone may be watching you.
 
For years now, if you had a claim the insurance company responsible for compensating you would often hire somebody to spy on you. They would hire a company to follow you around, looking into your windows, trying to videotape your every move. Insurance companies have no problem invading your privacy. 
 
Recently, insurance companies have developed a new weapon in tracking your movements. They do this by invading social networking sites. We all know these social network sites like Facebook, My Space and Twitter and the impact of these sites can be enormous. Facebook maintains over 400 million active accounts and they advertise that they post over three million photos very month. My Space boasts over 100 million active members and Twitter has six million active members. It has been estimated that 75% of people active on-line in the United States are involved in active social networking sites. 
 
Insurance companies are directing defense lawyers to invade these social network sites. They are looking for anything that can throw doubt or attack your pending claim. They are often able to get this information without going through any legal process. If you are involved in a social network site and have not restricted access to your personal page, your information is available to anyone and everyone. 
 
Recently, a defense attorney was gloating when he informed me that he obtained photographs through a social networking site showing an alleged injured victim engaging in strenuous physical activity. He was able to obtain this information by simply turning on his computer.
 
If you have a current or pending claim and maintain a social networking site, you should take steps to ensure that the site is not publicly available to everyone. Avoid this invasion into your privacy by protecting yourself.