UK NATIONAL SECURITY establishment the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has posted an online video to warn about the dangers of using online blogging and social networking.
The video posted on Youtube comes with the slogan, "It may not just be friends and family reading your status updates." And, "Think before you tweet, blog, update, tag, comment, check in, upload, text, share."
The one minute video, titled "Personal Security Online", shows a mother receiving a private message on Facebook from her son with sensitive information in it. The mother then goes and posts about this in her status page for all to see.
All seems well after the seemingly harmless update until the mother is shown having tea and a natter on the sofa with an armed man in a balaclava.
The aim, of course, is to make people aware of the risk involved when using online networking web sites such as Facebook and Twitter to share information. The MOD's web site says, "Remember that there may be those who are using such sites for unsavoury reasons. These range from criminals looking for ways to con you or steal your identity, to those who may wish us harm."
A previous video in the MoD campaign highlighted the risk of using a mobile phone to reveal two sailors' location on a night off.
The initial reactions to the Youtube video are generally not great, with one user saying "stupid campaign". Another sarcastic response was "OH NOES. FACEBOOK IS THE NEW IRA SOURCE". One user was more positive and said, "I think this is a brilliant, light-hearted take on a very serious subject. Well done."
The MoD told The INQUIRER that there are two more videos on the way in the coming weeks that will complete the "Think before you..." campaign. The material will also be included in Phase 1 training for new recruits joining the military services.
The campaign "is being launched as a reminder that personal and operational security should be a primary concern and that social media merely provides a different context where sensitive details can be found," said the MoD.
Major general John Lorimer, chief of the defence staff said, "We do not want to scare service personnel, families and veterans and we certainly do not want them to stop using social media. We are not here to gag people because we acknowledge the ubiquity and significant benefits that social media offers to people and the MoD." µ