From maintaining relationships to sparking revolutions, popular networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow people to connect across borders and language barriers. For all of its benefits, however, Internet-based Social Media is not without dangers.
The immediate consequences of over-sharing include identity theft and fraud, but the larger picture is far more disconcerting. Extremist networks and criminal organizations are increasingly using information scraped from Social Media sites for their own insidious reasons.
Social Media has merged many of the traditional resources for open source intelligence gathering into a single, easy-to-use toolset. In this sense, National Security begins at the user level. Being aware of one’s own cyber footprint promotes personal safety online and deters those who would exploit the features of Social Media for nefarious purposes.