Use of Social Networking websites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ has become a need of life for many, without doubt. But this habit or need becomes serious and crucial when services men use social networking websites.
Situation gets worsen when these military men and women surface on social networking websites with their real names, pictures, contact details and even with their military ranks.
PakSoldiers.Com, a website that covers defense related matters, claims that young services officers are more active on social networking websites than the senior officials.
A research conducted by PakSoldiers.Com revealed shocking stats, which are as following:
- 90% Young Officers (Below Major Rank) are on Social Networking Websites especially on Facebook.
- 80% Young Officers are there with their original details, Address, Profession and Phone Numbers.
- 55% have shown their Profile Picture in Uniform to show clearly that they belong to Services.
- 42% don’t know about the ‘Privacy Settings’ on Facebook, hence their Photos in Uniform are easy to access.
- 09% have shown even their ranks with their names.
Here are some serious concerns,
- Using Original Name and showing their profession in Profile, these young officers are easily available be contacted by anyone.
- By sharing Photos in Uniform, their Photos can be misused and lead to serious problems for the military men.
- Female Spy Agents from the enemies can easily contact them (though Officers are smart enough to deal with enemies)
- Sharing latest Status Updates regarding current happening around them may lead towards the serious leakage of the info.
Research produced on PakSolders said that Spy agencies are smart enough but probably they can’t put a check over the officers using the social networking websites.
Report said that Military Intelligence (MI) and the other sections of the intelligence keep a close eye over the officers moving out side the garrisons, but it feared that keeping a watch on social networking websites is still leaves a question mark for intelligence agencies.
Report expressed its concerns about possible data leakage due to status updates from army men and women. It said that officers are usually inclined towards uploading pictures of their activities, which could be monitored and misused by unsafe hands.
It maybe recalled that pictures and video footages of army men (while being at service) keeps on surfacing on Facebook and other social networking websites, which at times reveal serious inside information.
PakSolders said that whole scenario gets severe just because services men are not fully aware of the privacy issues and are usually unable to limit the audience of their updates to certain groups/friends.
According to Official Sources, services officers have been informed to not to upload their official data like their photos in uniform, regiments, units, and about their senior officials on social networking websites. Having said this, intelligence agencies and Pakistan Armed Forces will have to take a serious step towards regulating the use of social media for its officials and non-commissioned officers.