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A Horrible Reminder that Military Families Must be Careful

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.

UPDATE: Fantastic articles in Reader's Digest: 13 Things a Burglar Won't Tell Youand 8 More Things a Burglar Won't Tell You.

About Andi

Andi is married to an active-duty soldier and is the founder and former editor of SpouseBUZZ.

She is the founder of the Annual MilBlog Conference. The MilBlog Conference is the premiere event of the year for military bloggers. President George W. Bush, U.S. Representative Adam Smith, GEN David Petraeus, LTG Mike Oates, LTG William Caldwell, RADM Mark Fox, MG Kevin Bergner, MG David Hogg and The Honorable Pete Geren have addressed previous conferences.

While living in Washington, DC, Andi was the Ambassador to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for Sew Much Comfort, a non-profit organization which makes and delivers, free of charge, special adaptive clothing for wounded service members. Andi has worked with several non-profits to help our wounded heroes and their families. She finds that work to be the most rewarding and meaningful of all.

Andi strives to find humor in the good, bad and ugly of life and is a firm believer that laughter has the ability to cure most ills.