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Your social media posts are fair game in court

If you find yourself accused of a crime -- embezzling money at the office, running an illegal mortgage scheme or defrauding investors, for instance -- remember that what you post online may come back in court. Your social media posts can absolutely be used as evidence, and courts are seeing this more and more often as apps and websites see high traffic numbers.

In some cases, the jury may even get to examine information that you thought of as private. For instance, do you use apps like Facebook Messanger and WhatsApp to talk to friends, family members and co-workers? What you say to them feels like a private conversation, so you may assume the authorities cannot access that information, but that is not always true. They can often get it, and it is not illegal for them to do so.

They can also use evidence that other people may post about your activities. Maybe they said you went to the office at a specific time, and you denied it. However, your friend checked in at the office on social media and then posted a picture of you on Instagram. You forgot all about it and you technically did not commit a crime in the photo, but now the authorities can establish where you were at the time that the alleged criminal activity took place.

Social media has never been a more popular way to communicate. It is simple and convenient. That said, it is important for those who use it to carefully consider what they put out there and to look into all of their legal options if they end up in court.

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