Remember when a BBC investigation showed that a large portion of Facebook profiles are fake? Now we know what some of them have been up to. A report from Australia shows that the Taliban has been luring secrets out of soldiers by using fake Facebook profiles featuring photos of sexy women.
Australian soldiers are briefed on the dangers of Facebook and social media, but some still slip up and potentially jeopardize missions. The report said geotagging and talking with friends and relatives about operations can lead to soldiers’ deaths.
Many of the 1577 Defence members surveyed for the review had no awareness of the risk, it said, adding that 58 percent of Defence staff had no social media training.
Surveyed troops said social media open “a whole can of worms when it comes to operational, personnel, and physical security.”
“Many individuals who use social media are extremely trusting,” the review said. “Most did not recognize that people using fake profiles, perhaps masquerading as school friends, could capture information and movements. Few consider the possibilities of data mining and how patterns of behavior can be identified over time.”
Some soldiers are even calling for a social media ban in an effort to squash even the possibility of compromised information. The Australian Department of Defence said it is working on new social media guidelines for soldiers, which should be released in December.
Readers: Should military units ban or heavily restrict the usage of social media?
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