More than 200,000 Police officers across the UK have been instructed to take extra care on social media sites because of fears that terrorists are monitoring online activities in preparation for an attack.
As well as warnings to be vigilant on social media, the instruction also applies to offline activity. A spokesperson has confirmed this includes “not travelling to work in full uniform and not standing out unnecessarily when out of work.”
The warning is reported to have been provoked by ‘chatter’ heard by GCHQ, which has been monitoring intelligence in this area, suggesting that an attack on a serving officer might be imminent.
It was reported in October that a series of terrorism related arrests were made after it was discovered individuals were monitoring the Instagram accounts of four police officers.
The Association of Chief Police Officers produced guidance last year, warning against the publication of personal information on social media sites and the risks presented by location-based services including on Facebook and Foursquare which allow users to “check in” to a particular place.
All users of social media should be vigilant as criminals make use of personal information, holiday dates and photographs to plan attacks, robberies and other crimes. Regular reviews of privacy and location settings is always recommended. Many criminals work with the opportunities presented to them. By taking care online, you will reduce the likelihood of any attack, online or in person.