It’s important for family members and friend to stay connected to military members while they’re serving our nation abroad. That link to home is incredibly important for everyone involved.
But staying in touch comes with responsibilities for military members and their families. To protect the safety of our troops, it is crucial that information pertaining to military operations remain confidential.
This is known as Operational Security or OPSEC, and it’s something service members and families alike have to keep front of mind when it comes to communicating during a deployment. OPSEC has become increasingly important as social media channels like Facebook and Twitter gain greater utilization.
Information is vital to the success of military operations, which is the reason Operational Security is important. OPSEC is making sure that critical Department of Defense information remains out of the hands of potential adversaries.
• Detailed information about the mission of assigned units
• Details on location and times of unit deployments
• Personal transactions that occur in large numbers such as pay information
• Details concerning security procedures
Family members are important targets for foreign intelligence agencies. It’s always good to be cautious when discussing military information, especially with someone outside of your family.
To trained adversaries, small pieces of information can be used to figure out important strategies and operations in progress. Determined individuals can access data from cellular phones, and even baby monitors, using inexpensive receivers.
Agents who have been assigned to discover information may even frequently visit some of the same locations as you, including stores, clubs or places of worship.
Operational Security decreases the risk to our military members while they are deployed; surprise and secrecy are the core tactics for mission success. And for an enemy simple knowledge such as temporary deployment locations could seriously jeopardize a unit’s safety.
Information that family members may find trivial could be of helpful to an enemy, thus, it is important to remain alert. If you feel that someone is persistently attempting to gain confidential information from you notify your military sponsor immediately.
Today, it’s not just emails and phone calls that require a close consideration of OPSEC. Social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are fast becoming the preferred methods of contact for service members and families.
But it’s important to remember that nothing is truly secure online. Be extremely careful when it comes to sharing information on Facebook, Twitter and other community gathering spots. Facebook and Blue Star Families teamed up to create a Social Media guide for Military families.