Is it really friendship if the person hasn’t verified you would never try to overthrow the government? On this week’s security clearance news update, we’re looking at friends – and why you need a few if you’re filling out an SF-86.

1. Which References Should You List on Your SF-86.

Your security clearance application asks for a lot of references. A LOT. In addition to providing employment verification, verification for places you’ve lived, and other specific references, the form asks for people who knew you well – and these individuals can’t be relatives. Some applicants have difficulty knowing who to list in these sections, and we have three specific ideas for good individuals to list in the ‘who knows you well’ section.

2. Foreign Social Media Contacts and Your Clearance.

If you have foreign social media contacts, many security clearance applicants wonder whether or not they should just go through and systematically delete all of those contacts before they apply for a clearance. Nothing is stopping you from deleting those contacts, but you may actually be better off keeping them. After all, it’s a bit of a red flag if you abruptly delete all foreigners from your social accounts. Now is a good time to consider how you use your social networking sites – are they important to you, and are you using them safely? If you have foreign contacts you don’t even know – or perhaps you can’t even remember why you connected – those are people you should likely delete.

If you are applying for a security clearance, you’ll need a few friends – and you have at least one in us.

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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