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OPSEC safety with social networking

St. Joseph, Mo. -- The use of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites may pose an indirect threat to military personnel. This is due to military personnel providing detailed operations information, releasing personal data, posting pictures that show themselves or other military members in uniform on these public sites.

Many users grant access to their personal information to any other user asking for access without even knowing them. This information may be used by terrorists and criminals to target military members and installations. Friends and relatives of military members who have information on these sites can be targeted as well.

Several sites state that privacy act information such as phone numbers and addresses are protected, but many users post them anyway. It is critical to remember Operations Security (OPSEC) and Force Protection. While everyone should be proud of their military service, the old adage of "some things are better left unsaid" needs to be followed.

Personnel using social networking sites should not provide privacy act or sensitive military information. If you use these sites or "tweet" ask yourself, "could this information be used to harm me, my family or military operations?"