The article “Technology’s Hidden Dangers” by Norman Friedman in the May 2012 U.S. Naval Institute’s monthly magazine Proceedings may be a somewhat extreme example of a technology misdeed, but this can serve as a warning to all of us to think before we post:
A recent incident in Afghanistan illuminates a military aspect of the new world of integrated electronics, as exemplified by smart phones.
Integration means that formerly disparate functions, such as those of a camera, phone, and Internet access, are combined seamlessly in a single device so one can feed off the others.
In this case, four new attack helicopters were delivered to a U.S. base, the location of which had apparently been unknown to the enemy. Soldiers there photographed them and put the photos on the Internet, presumably using a social medium such as Facebook.
Not long afterward the helicopters were all destroyed by a Taliban mortar attack. The base was secret, and it was unlikely that Afghan agents had tipped off the Taliban. What happened?
The answer involves the fact that pictures taken by smart phones are automatically tagged with GPS locations. Hence the revealing of the secret base.
Call to action:
What are you revealing by uploading photos taken by a smart phone to Facebook? Or do you already allow social media sites to geotag your updates?
Carefully consider whether you really want to automatically reveal where you are via your social media activities.
And also think before you post anything – it is smarter not to push “send” until you read over what you just typed and are sure about posting it.
The reputation you want to save is your own (not to mention your own safety).
(c) 2012 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter and @ZimblerMiller on Pinterest) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com, which helps clients with effectively using social media to connect with prospective target audiences.
Visit her author site www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com to find out about the three-book series HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND BEYOND COLLEGE.