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Can Internet use impact your security clearance?

You might believe that your Internet use is private and personal. This is simply not the case. In fact, the advice that is commonly given by interviewers, investigators and military officials is to consider anything that you write on the Internet as though everyone in the world will see it.

In the information age, email conversations, social media posts and even an online dating profile can all be carefully examined by prospective employers and military officials alike. Your security clearance - and your job - could be in jeopardy from something as innocuous as a joke on Facebook or a simple conversation on an online dating site.

Numerous factors can dramatically impact your ability to maintain or obtain a security clearance. Internet use can include:

  • Facebook: Whether it is a status update, a response to someone else's post or a picture, Facebook use can be detrimental. It is not uncommon for individuals to post images of themselves at parties, drinking or engaging in dangerous activities. When performing background reviews, those in command will often scrutinize these posts before a decision is made.
  • Email use: It is a common misconception that email messages can be deleted. Unfortunately, investigators will attempt to uncover these conversations. Whether you are surfing the Internet during work hours or using your work computer to have an email or instant message conversation, this information can be extracted and used in the decision-making process.
  • Online dating: In a world where global boundaries are disappearing due to Internet use, it is not uncommon for individuals to have conversations or strike up relationships with people from other nations. Unfortunately, these relationships or discussions can cause problems with a security clearance.

If your security clearance was revoked or denied, an experienced military law attorney can provide the strong representation you need. Consider seeking the advice of a legal professional who understand the challenges you face in your military career.

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