22 September 2016
Become Familiar with the Risks Associated Using Social Media
Fort Detrick Protection Office
In light of the threats on social media against Soldiers and their families by terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Department of the Army has published social media messages and precautions. This information provides precautions and recommended practices to help protect our military, civilians, contractors and families.

What is a Social Networking Site?
A social networking site, according to the National Security Agency, “is a web-based service that allows communities of people to share common interests and/or experiences. Rather than” stay in touch by meeting face to face or with phone, text, or video messages, social networking sites “allow users to publish information that can be read later by other users (a one-to-many form of communication) and follow their friends’ postings and provide comments.”

Associated Risks
Social networking sites promote ‘social behavior’ and encourage users to share information and inherently trust the information from those they are connected to within the network. Once information is posted or uploaded onto a social networking site, it should no longer be considered private. In fact, social networking sites can present an operations security risk to military units and a direct risk to the individual.

General Precautions
• Use strong, unique passwords. Consider using passphrases for an additional level of security.
• Change your password regularly.
• Use a government e-mail address whenever possible.
• Make sure your computer and operating system are up-to-date.
• Keep your email accounts secure.
• Review your authorized applications.
• Use extra security features.
• Minimize the number of people who have access to the account.
• Check for signs of compromise.
• Limit outward signs of military affiliation (such as vehicle stickers, home decorations, using your rank in your address, or using military slang in public).
• Uniformed military members present in public venues or attending publicly accessible events should exercise vigilance.
• Be unpredictable with smart behavior, routines, and travel.
• Be alert. Maintain good situational awareness by staying alert, knowing what to look for, and knowing what is wrong or out of place.
• Report all incidents of suspicious activity or behavior to appropriate authorities.
• Think before you post. Always assume everyone in the world will be able to see what you are posting, or tweeting, even if the site limits your posts to your friends and family.
• Do not allow others to tag you in images they post. Doing so makes you easier to locate and makes it easier to accurately reconstruct your network of friends, relatives, and associates.
• Be cautious about the images you post. What is in the photos may be more revealing than who is in them. Images posted over time may form a complete mosaic of you and your family.
• Once something is posted on a social networking site, it can quickly spread. No amount of effort will erase it.
• Review privacy settings and limit who can view your social media sites; but do not trust these settings as absolute.
• Avoid posting your home or work address and phone numbers.
• Limit any reference to military, government, or law enforcement employment or affiliation, current or former, on social media.
• Avoid providing detailed accounts of your day (for example, when you leave for or return from work).
• Do not use “check-ins,” which report your location. If they are enabled, disable them.
• Never allow applications to geo-locate you.
• Do not post personally identifiable information on social media.
• Do not arrange meetings with people you meet online.
• Do not use your social networking site to login to other sites. Create another user account on the new site instead.

Home Internet Use Safeguards
• Keep your antivirus software current.
• Secure your wireless network with a unique name and password.
* Limit access to your wireless network so that outsiders cannot connect to it.
• Ensure that antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall software are up to date.
• Do not send personal information except through encrypted links.
• Avoid using public file-sharing services to transmit personal information or images.
Posted by Webmaster

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