Social Networking and the US Immigration and Naturalization Services (USCIS)
How USCIS is Using Social MediaThe United States Immigration and Naturalization Services (USCIS) has a division called "Fraud Detection and National Security" (FDNS). Its job is to conduct investigations into pending applications and cases as well as to conduct efforts in the national security. FDNS uses social media sites to "friend" individuals who are being investigated, pretending to be someone other than a representative of USCIS. By reading postings to sites like Facebook, MySpace, Classmates, and others, FDNS may gather information that can damage or undermine any application pending with the Department of Homeland Security.
Protect Your Social Media Sites!Even if you don't have an application or case pending with USCIS, it is smart to protect your social media sites. Here are three simple things you can do to protect yourself from unwanted viewing by FDNS. First, review the privacy settings on your social media pages to ensure maximum privacy. Second, don't "friend" people you don't know. While it is tempting to add friends, you never know who your real friends are until it is too late. Third, set a "google alert" for your name and your social security number. Each alert allows you to monitor what is being posted on the internet about you. And finally, don't commit fraud or any other illegal activity. Then you won't have to worry about what FDNS reads if they access information about you.