No matter what form of social media you have, there is private information about you and your friends. Have you ever received weird Facebook friend requests? You know: the kind with one picture that you can find anywhere online, some random location, zero other friends – that one. Military personnel and spouses are always targeted by these people for sketchy reasons. There are many other goof-ups that you, a spouse, or a friend might be posting that can cause some serious issues.
Why Be Safe?
In the past eight years, I’ve received these requests, and some go as far as sending messages that asked about my husband and his career. Like any normal person, I blocked the person. But what else can you do?
In a short OSI briefing, the man was representing how easy it is for anyone to get information by doing the simplest of things- especially on Facebook. Facebook is so easy because there are thousands of military or military-related groups. In his demonstration, he went to a Barksdale AFB yard sale page and asked to join under a fake profile he created very quickly with a few fake pictures. After he was almost immediately accepted into the yard sale page, he clicked on a handful of different profiles that were completely viewable to the public.
So many military members stated their location, where they worked, what their job was, their unit, etc. So many spouses posted their “only x, y, z, amount of months until he gets home!” From there, he showed how easy it was to look at the photos the people were tagged in, their friends, and other people they regularly deploy with or work with – all by using a fake profile he created in the matter of seconds. This might all seem like basic stuff you don’t care too much about – until a scare happens that drives social media into a madhouse. Remember when ISIS allegedly had targeted so many people and threatened them on social media? Remember the list of names that came out that they had again, ‘allegedly’ targeted and found on Facebook? No one really cared until then, and not too many people care now.
Lock It Down Military, and Spouses Keep Your Mouths Closed
Now, this may seem harsh, but why shouldn’t it be? I knew a really nice lady who unfortunately posted the day her husband was coming home from deployment on Facebook out of excitement for her friends and family to see. Consequences? Her husband’s command was told this info right away. She had to delete her Facebook and create a new one, and everyone that was deployed with her husband had to stay an extra two months for safety purposes. One wrong move and she not only ruined it for the men and women ready to come home and see their families, but she could have put a large group of people deployed in danger because internet creeps sit and wait for stuff like this to pop up.
Military members: putting where you work is fine. Your friends are your friends. All it takes is a simple date with your settings button to change your privacy. If you change your privacy and lock down your information, friends, and pictures, then you have less to worry about. Who needs to see your deployment pictures besides your friends and family anyways? Go to your Facebook, click on settings, and change your profile from public to ‘only friends.’ Go to your albums, and you’ll see a settings button pop up when you hover – change these from public views. If you really want to post something public for anyone to see, at least your basic information, pictures, and other posts will be not viewable to the public eye.
Really, it’s not difficult. These adolescent mistakes can potentially cause harm to yourself, your friends, and your family. Someone is always preaching that internet security is completely necessary, and now I’m going to be that person because I’ve seen results of what people have posted turn out pretty ugly. Luckily no one was harmed, but there could be a point in time in which your slip-up could potentially leak information to bad people and you can put those that you care about in danger.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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