The U.S. Department of Defense made a 60-page guide to help clearance holders keep their identities private and secure online. From networking apps to health accounts to online dating, the guide is comprehensive – and long. Online dating not only has personal landmines to avoid, but it can also be a privacy issue. Not to mention, you could be unknowingly handing your information to an adversary.

You might think that the federal government just doesn’t want you to be online. While that would certainly be easier, it’s just not the reality anymore. Rather than skip this option, you just have to proceed with caution. And the same goes with online dating.

Do’s and Don’ts for Clearance Holders Using Online Dating Apps

Online dating has become a popular way to meet potential partners, but it comes with certain privacy risks. To ensure your safety while searching for love online, the DoD offers these essential do’s and don’ts.


  1. Create a Unique Username and Photos: Avoid using usernames and profile photos that are already associated with your other social media accounts. Be creative to maintain your privacy.
  2. Limit Personal Information: Only share what you need to in your public profile. Protect your identity by revealing only what’s necessary.
  3. Upgrade to a Paid Account: Consider upgrading to a paid account if available, as they often offer more control over your profile visibility.
  4. Read the Terms and Conditions: Always take the time to read and understand the dating site’s Terms and Conditions before registering.


  1. Don’t Link to Other Social Media: Avoid connecting your dating profile to your social networking or photo sharing services like Facebook or Instagram.
  2. Avoid Known Usernames and Photos: Steer clear of usernames and profile photos that match those on your other social media profiles.
  3. Refrain from Sharing Personal Details: Don’t include unique personal information, like your last name or place of work, in your profile or messages.
  4. Exercise Caution with Data Privacy: Remember that even if you restrict your profile from public view, the dating service still has access to your data and may share it with third parties. Check out the privacy options on the app to limit information that’s shared.

Your experience with online dating might not meet your expectations. Whatever your outcome, you at least have to protect your privacy. Follow the guidelines, so you can make it through the online dating experience with your personal information secure. It’ll also keep you out of your FSO’s office. Stay safe and happy dating!

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.