As a security clearance holder, you already know you’re held to a higher standard. You had to take an oath, after all, and disclose potentially embarrassing personal information. All of this in the name of national security. Over the past several months news reports are focusing on another area Uncle Sam may now be interested in – your social media accounts. Today’s background investigations don’t include a check of publicly available information online – like Facebook or Twitter. But that may soon change thanks to recently released guidance from the Director of National Intelligence.

What is social media?

Social media includes the host of websites designed to share information, from thoughts and ideas to photos and emojis. For the purposes of the government, social media may be seen as any information easily recovered via an online search. If you’ve posted information publicly online, a background investigator may someday be culling it as a part of your security clearance determination.

Will the government be looking at your social media profiles?

You will not be asked to provide your social media log-ins. That means privacy settings are key. If you don’t want to stress about every Octoberfest pic you’ve ever posted, it’s a good idea to make sure your social media settings are locked down.

How can you clean up your act online?

Check out this video for more information on cleaning up your social media profiles:

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer