Wake up. It's a
dangerous world out there.

3. Wrong. Chatting on the Internet or posting messages to news groups or bulletin boards might seem like a private pastime, but it is in fact a very public activity. Any information you post on the Internet that calls attention to yourself as a person with access to proprietary or classified information could cause you to become a target.

Foreign intelligence collectors and investigators collecting competitive business intelligence regularly troll bulletin board, chat room and news group postings using powerful search tools to identify postings or individuals of potential interest. It is possible through the Internet to search e-mail transmissions to news or chat groups to identify messages that mention your company or organization, or that contain any other word or phrase that someone wants to search for.  If someone on the Internet finds that, because of where you work or what you know, you could be a good "source," he or she will have no problem finding out more about you. For example, it is possible to search for and identify all messages you post to news or chat groups.

Another risk is that your words may carry a weight that you did not intend. If you are recognized as a government employee or contractor, the common assumption is that you know more than you do, and that you have access to classified or other sensitive information relating to the subject of discussion, which may or may not be the case.

Do not try to impress others with how much you know. Specifically:

Related Topics: Using the Internet Securely, E-Mail Pitfalls, How Do I Know When I'm Being Targeted and Assessed?