Recent News Events Create Opportunity to Review Your Social Media Presence

SM-Friend-or-Foe-300x300Many of you may have seen news stories this past weekend of a list containing the names, addresses, and photos of 100 current U.S. service members.

The list was compiled with the respective addresses and photos based off of information obtained through social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

In light of these events it is highly recommended you review your current online footprint, particularly in regard to social media sites. Furthermore, have a conversation with your families about Operational Security (OPSEC) and how we all need to be careful about what we post online. There are real threats out there, and it is important that we do what we can do to mitigate our exposure.

Here some easy steps you can take to help ensure your security online:

  • Understand your privacy settings. Go look at the current privacy settings you have established on the social media sites you use and remember that the safest setting for any site is “only friends”. In our resource section below are smart cards for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
  • Don’t friend people you don’t know. It sounds simple but think about how many people you may be friends with online that you don’t really know. If you don’t know them, then why are you linked in with them?
  • Limit the use of applications. Applications can be a great help, but they can also be a liability. For example, a past study revealed that many of Facebook’s most popular applications were transmitting personal user information to outside servers.
  • Protect your location. It is important that you do not “check in” and let the world know where you are, particularly at home, your friends’ houses, or at work.
  • Don’t overshare. The internet doesn’t forget anything – and nothing really gets deleted – so be careful about what you share. It is much easier to just not share something than it is to get that information back once it has been broadcasted in cyberspace.

Resources:

As always, force protection is a primary concern. It is important that we all remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to base security forces, Air Force OSI, or the local police.