Security clearance is an important aspect of keeping the country safe. The government may require you to get security clearance to work in specific positions or to handle certain jobs.
The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency explains that there are three levels of security clearance: Top Secret, Secret and Confidential. In assessing your ability to gain clearance, there are several things the government will consider.
Suitability standards or fitness depend a lot on how you fit the criteria for the position or situation for which you want to secure clearance. You need to meet certain requirements and show that you have the ability to handle the responsibilities. You also need to be a good fit for the situation and be someone who can work well within the limitations or restrictions of the situation.
Character and conduct
The government will look at your character and conduct to ensure you are suitable for security clearance. There are standards you must meet, and certain incidents in your past could put your security clearance in jeopardy if the government feels that you will not be able to uphold the reputation of the agency.
In general, you need to have a clean background without any major legal entanglements. You should have a solid personnel background as well. Any type of scandal would cause you some issues with securing clearance.
You should note that when assessing you for security clearance, the government will never discriminate based on your race, gender, religion or other protected class. The assessments are all about you as a person and your background.