There is a lot of information online. From reviews of sugar free gummy bears to how to properly stack your 401(k), you name the topic, there is a resource online to provide you with some context. But how do you know which of those sources to trust, and what information may be misinformed – especially when it comes to critical questions around the security clearance process? A RAND report released earlier this month addresses just that. Accessing Misconceptions Online About the Security Clearance Process addresses how information about the security clearance process is relayed, including both government and private sources, and the common topics and general quality of the information provided.

The Whole Person Concept and Your Clearance

The RAND Report highlights how many forums are dedicated to questions about the security clearance process, and individuals providing answers. As the RAND report highlights, however, outside of linking to direct government sources, online information about the security clearance process is highly subjective, and can be downright incorrect. Sources like ClearanceJobs provide valuable information about the security clearance process, but go short of actually advising if any individual is able to obtain a security clearance. That’s because the whole person concept and the application of the security clearance adjudicative guidelines are individual. Outside of an applicant who is currently engaged in illegal activity and refuses to stop, or an individual who isn’t a U.S. citizen, there aren’t issues that result in a blanket prohibition.

The internet and forums can be great places to trade anecdotal information about the process – but you shouldn’t count on them to make your security clearance determination – only the government can do that.


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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