Do you use the social networks?  LinkedIn? Facebook?  Twitter?

Do you use these for networking, posting your work history or sharing your current skill set in hopes of making the right connection to land your next gig? Is your resume posted and available for download?  How about your contact data?

Ever use the social networks for professional networking?  Use location based applications?  Use trip accounting applications which posts where you are going and for how long and how?

IF you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may wish to review what information you are sharing, and of course,how you are sharing that information.  As enjoyable as it is, social networks carry risk. Not the type of risk where we go screaming from the room and then wrap ourselves in cotton, but risk, which if not mitigated, can be utilized by an adversary to the US Government to obtain bits and pieces of information which help fill in pieces of a mosaic.

Let us break these down one by one:


– When you post your work history, it is only natural to describe to a future employer all your diversified experiences.  Fight the urge to provide specifics, as to do so would provide confirmatory data or new data path for a hostile intelligence service trying to sort out what precisely your employer is working on in support of the USG.  Why make their lives easier?


– Think twice about using location based services and trip documenting services.  Take the application Trip-it, from Concur.  It allows you to put together your travel itineraries and then post these entries to your social networks.  In posting your trip data to social networks, you are allowing any individual observing your posting to note your trip, and over time any one making such notes will be able to collate and evolve patterns. Couple this with the use of location-based services such as Foursquare, which provides a significantly greater level of granularity as to your location.  Perhaps it matters, perhaps not, only you know if sharing the location of where you are or where you are going is of import or potential import to a hostile intelligence service.


– Your resume contains a great deal of data about you, and if you post or drop on various web sites you exacerbate that risk.  For more information on the risks associated with your resume please  review:  Posting Your Resume, What are the RiskS

The key to successfully navigating the social networks is to remember the well worn adage, “Once posted, for ever toasted.”  What this means is know what you are posting, where you are posting the data and with whom the information could/will be shared.



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Christopher Burgess (@burgessct) is an author and speaker on the topic of security strategy. Christopher, served 30+ years within the Central Intelligence Agency. He lived and worked in South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central Europe, and Latin America. Upon his retirement, the CIA awarded him the Career Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the highest level of career recognition. Christopher co-authored the book, “Secrets Stolen, Fortunes Lost, Preventing Intellectual Property Theft and Economic Espionage in the 21st Century” (Syngress, March 2008). He is the founder of