Yesterday, I received several emails aboutthe tragic murder of Navy spouse, Shana Hight. Shana'shusband was deployed when she was killed.
The details of this senseless crime have yet to be publicly revealed. It's unclear why Shana was murdered, or if there are any suspects. Having said that, this tragedy did make me pause to consider the dark side of social media for military families.Apparently, Shana wasn't a blogger, but she did use twitter.
In May, I participated in a social media panel at MOAA's Spouse Summit. One of the topics of discussion centered on the benefits and drawbacks of milspouses using pseudonyms, or their real names, on social media channels.
Of course, it's an individual preference, but I held the view that it's understandable why so many milspouses choose not to use their real names, or their full names. For one, our spouses are gone. A lot. Advertising your full name, location and that you're alone may not be the wisest course of action because some people are actively looking for a window of opportunity which will allow them to prey on milspouses. Another reason may be that milspouses fear they can't be open about the touchier side of military life if their peers could stumble across their blog or twitter page. So again, I understand the decision many milspouses make to blog, tweet and comment semi-anonymously, or even anonymously.
I'm not suggesting that Shana's death was in any way connected to something she published on the web.Not at all. In fact, her twitter history looks very benign. But as I stated previously, when I read that she was murdered while her husband was deployed, it made me think about how important it is for us to carefully choose which bits of information strangers can access. There have been numerous examples of scammers targeting military families lately. If a General and his wife can be affected, it can certainly happen to any of us. Take precautions to limit your chances of becoming the victim of a scam. Or worse, a physical attack.
Just be careful — and smart — out there….
Shana, may you Rest in Peace.