<p></p> <p>A little more than two years after the Marines banned their personnel from using social media, the military branch has released a handbook detailing how sites like Facebook should be handled both on duty and off. Today, Marines are encouraged to use social media, but with caution.</p> <p>"The Social Corps," was written for military personnel, but contains invaluable advice for ordinary civilians who are concerned about their privacy on <a alt="((CONLINK|3158|Facebook))" href="">Facebook</a> and other social networking sites. “Remember, there is no assumption of privacy for you online,” the handbook begins.</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>What happens online, stays online — and everywhere else.</p> <p>Be aware that you lose control over basically everything you post online and that many social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have policies that give them ownership of all content and information posted or stored on their systems. You may have said it, but they own it.</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>Look out for bad guys.</p> <p>Recognize a scam when you see one. Scammers know the best way into your profile is playing on your curiosity, emotions or fears. If it sounds too good to be true, or simply too amazing — it probably is. Do not click on links or open attachments unless the source can be trusted.</p> <p>Don’t release personally identifiable information such as your Social Security number, home address or driver’s license number.  Even providing your birthday and birthplace can give identity thieves or criminals easier access to you and your friends and family.  It’s your identity — protect it.</p> <p>Look for “HTTPS” on the website address and the “lock” icon on the Web page that indicate active security before logging in or entering sensitive data (especially when using Wi-Fi hot spots).</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>Not everyone you know and meet is a good candidate for an online associate.</p> <p>Consider carefully who you allow access to your social media profiles and personal information.  This means people you allow to be a “friend” on Facebook or add to your friends list on <a alt="((CONLINK|3047|Foursquare))" href="">Foursquare</a> , for example. This can also extend to who’s in your network on LinkedIn or who you follow (or follows you) on Twitter. Social network “friends” and “followers” may potentially constitute relationships that could affect the outcome of background investigations and periodic reinvestigations associated with your security clearance.  You may not need to consider your security clearance, but what about future employment?</p> <p>Sort “friends” into groups and networks, and set access permissions accordingly. Add “untrusted” people to the group with the lowest permissions and accesses.</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>The best way to secure your stuff is to lock the door.</p> <p>The same holds true to securing access to your accounts by always using strong passwords. To protect your online and social media accounts from getting hacked you should set a good, strong password that has at least 14 characters comprised of lower and upper-case letters, numbers and symbols. As an added protective measure you should also frequently change your passwords.</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>If you wouldn’t say it to your grandma, don’t post it.</p> <p>Don’t say/post anything that could be perceived as:</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>Look out for intruders.</p> <p>Notice any changes to your account that you didn’t make? Change your password immediately.</p> <p>Check your accounts daily for possible use or changes by unauthorized users.</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>Consider disabling Facebook check-ins and other <a alt="((CONLINK|3128|location-based%20services))" href="">location-based services</a> .</p> <p>To disable Facebook Places on your mobile device to prevent people from checking into your personal locations, navigate to the options setting on your cellphone and uncheck “Share my</p> <p>location with Facebook.” If you don’t want your location to be known, remember to turn off the GPS on your phone as well.</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>Check all photos you intend to post.</p> <p>While Marines are advised to look for indicators in the background or reflective surfaces that may expose unwanted details, civilians should ask themselves, “Do I want the information I am about to post to be forever available to anyone at anytime?”</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>Lock down apps, games and websites inside Facebook.</p> <p>Check your privacy settings for apps, games and websites fairly often, as you may grant access to your information to new applications without even realizing it.</p> <p>For the highest privacy settings, open Privacy Settings and then select Apps, Games &amp; Websites: edit settings.  Choose Apps You Use to see a list of active apps in your Facebook profile. Select edit and then scroll down to find App Activity Privacy. Use the drop-down menu to choose “only me” and others will no longer receive game updates from you.</p> <p>Last but not least, go back one page to Apps, Games &amp; Websites to find the “Public search” section. Click Edit settings and uncheck “Enable public search” to keep your profile out of Facebook’s search engine.</p> <p></p>

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<p></p> <p>You are responsible for your actions.</p> <p>Anything you post that can potentially tarnish the Marine Corps’ image or in this case, that of your company, co-workers or friends, is your responsibility. Exercise sound judgment and common sense. Don’t let a careless mistake or ill thought, comment, or post hamper your career or your relationships.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

That's an Order! 10 Facebook Privacy Tips from the Marines