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Too much information

Airman First Class Chad Bridgeman, 120th Airlift Wing Communications Squadron cyber security specialist, checks his privacy settings on Facebook. (National Guard photo/Senior Airman Nikolas Asmussen)

Airman First Class Chad Bridgeman, 120th Airlift Wing Communications Squadron cyber surety specialist, checks his privacy settings on Facebook. (National Guard photo/Senior Airman Nikolas Asmussen)

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Facebook, what did we ever do without it? For many of us Facebook is our most visited website. Grandmothers use Facebook to keep up with their grandkids. Teachers use it to communicate with their students. The president uses Facebook to communicate with the nation.

Facebook is a great way to stay informed, share events, and connect with the people and organizations that are important to you. Facebook is also a great way for thieves to steal your personal information and for terror organizations to conduct surveillance. So should you delete you Facebook, unplug your computer and communicate only by Pony Express?

Like all forms of electronic communication, Facebook can be a great tool as long as you understand it and practice good personal security.

"You need to analyze what you use Facebook for," said Airman First Class Chad Bridgeman,120th Airlift Wing Communications Squadron cyber surety specialist.

Are you using Facebook to socialize with a family and friends? Are you keeping up with a social or work group. Consider what kind of personal information you should share.

Once you share information on the internet you cannot get it back. Nothing can truly be "deleted" from the internet. The best thing to do is to ask yourself 'would I be OK if this ended up on the front page of the newspaper?' If not, you probably shouldn't post it.

"Just like you represent the military when you wear the uniform, you represent the Air Force and your unit when you post online," said Bridgeman.

After filtering out any truly sensitive information, make sure you know who you are sharing with. Facebook privacy settings are not perfect, but they are helpful. Some information should never be posted online.

"If someone wants your information bad enough they can get to it," said Bridgeman. "(However) if it's not online, they can't get to it."
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