Social media and the internet in today’s society have become a blessing and curse. For military families it is a great way to stay connected with your loved one no matter where they are in the world, BUT it also imposes many security risks.
Operation Security (OPSEC) measures are not something to take lightly these day and when not practiced mindfully you could put your service member in harms way, but also your family as whole. Today’s enemy is full of skillful cyber hackers and terrorist that are just watching and waiting for important information to be shared. Just as important as OPSEC is Personal Security (PERSEC).
What is OPSEC?
The U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity defines OPSEC as the process by which we protect unclassified information that can be used against us. OPSEC challenges us to look at ourselves through the eyes of an adversary (individuals, groups, countries, organizations). Essentially, anyone who can harm people, resources, or mission is an adversary.
What is PERSEC?
PERSEC is process of keeping you and your families personal information secured.
10 Tips for Mindful OPSEC & PERSEC Practices
- NEVER share the 5 W’s of troop movement
- Do not announce that your loved one deployed
Although it is safer to post “Sad my hubby deployed” than “Sad my hubby deployed yesterday”, ask yourself this “Do I really want a stranger to know that I will be home alone (with my kids) for a LONG period of time?”
- Do not post specifics about unit deployment locations
- Do not share specifics about unit names
- Avoid sharing pictures that show your service member’s name and insignia
- Avoid engaging with geo-tracking accessories like “checking in” on Facebook
- Avoid posting subtle remarks about your spouses’s duty or mission while deployed.
“Prayers please, my husband is out on a mission tonight.”
- Keep your countdown clocks private. Avoid sharing pictures of your in home and digital countdown clocks.
- Avoid sharing the service member’s job specifics or role during a deployment
Every now and then you will see news articles around specific units while deployed. Some articles share sad information for families and others share positive information around the unit’s accomplishments and strengths. Sometimes it’s best to think twice about sharing how the article is relevant to your service member. Keep in mind that some information vetting procedures don’t go smoothly. There have been many situations where loved ones have found out unfortunate news about their service member via news article.
- Do not share specifics about you.
Keep your personal information on a need to know basis. Avoid sharing person contact information and locations on social media
Resources & Tips for “Locking Down” Your Social Media Accounts
Report suspicious profiles and behavior to Facebook Report Center
Resources by Branch of Service
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