Never think that the messages or pictures you post on social media websites will remain private, even if all your privacy settings are configured so that only your close friends will see it. That’s a lesson learned by 18-year-old Jacob Cox-Brown of Astoria, Oregon, who posted a message on Facebook after a hit and run.
According to the Astoria Police Department, an officer was called in to check out a hit and run crash that occurred on January 1, 2013, right after midnight. The officer found a couple of damaged cars, but no sign of the perpetrator.
However, finding the culprit turned out to be easy since, as soon as he arrived home, Jacob Cox-Brown posted the following message on his Facebook account: “Drivin drunk... classsic ;) but to whoever's vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P”
Soon after, the teen’s friends started sending private messages to Officer Riley, the officer that investigated the accident, and to Sergeant Aydt and told them about Cox-Brown’s Facebook post.
They law enforcement representatives paid him a visit and found that the pieces left behind at the scene of the crash matched the vehicle registered to Cox-Brown. He has been arrested and charged with two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver.
Internet users must always remember that sharing too much information about your private life can be dangerous sometimes.
While this doesn’t really apply to the case of young Jacob, since it’s a good thing that people who break the law are identified and apprehended because of what they post on social media websites, the advice is valuable for regular internauts.
And, as Sophos’ Graham Cluley highlights, it would be great if those who broke the law turned off all their privacy settings and started telling everyone about their activities.