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Social networking sites are great for keeping in touch with family and friends, and letting the world know what you’re up to. The Online Engagement Guidelines make it clear that we encourage the safe and responsible use of social networking sites, but we have provided some further guidance on this site to help you stay safe and think about what you post online. 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. While it is unlikely that you’ll fall victim, you should be aware of the risk.

This is why you need to be aware of how much information there is online about you. Not just that which you’ve put there yourself, but also that which other people or organisations have put there. You need to be especially careful if you have identified yourself as being a member of the military or an MOD civilian.

It can be simple to collate information from various sources in order to build up a picture of who a person is. Similarly it might only take one careless comment, or posting a picture without checking what’s in the background to put friends and colleagues at risk.

Alongside being careful about the information you choose to share online, you should also look at the settings on every social networking site you use, and ensure that you’re happy with how your information is being used and shared. If there are sites that you no longer use, and have no intention of using again, it’s better for you to close your account rather than just ignore it.

The linked leaflet is a short guide to behaviours that Defence personnel should employ whilst using Social Media Social Media Behaviours for Military Personnel Leaflet. There is also a guide aimed specifically at commanders to give them the guidance about how to deal with the use of social media amongst the personnel they command. Social Media Behaviours for Military Commanders Leaflet.

You can find more policy, advice and guidance about using social media and speaking officially as a member of the defence community in the media and public communications publications, which you should follow at all times. The guidance in this site is designed to help you better manage your online security and does not supersede any other official document.

If you missed them, you can still watch our earlier videos here Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4. You can also download them from the video resources page.