JULY 31, 2023 – Like everyone else, even the United States military has realized that the Internet, particularly social media, can be a mixed bag. On a positive note, social media acts as a fast and dependable communication tool, boosting the morale of deployed troops. However, there’s a downside as well, with social media making the military susceptible to several security risks. However, there are tips on secure army communications.
Guide for Social Media Security of Army Communications
#1 Control the information
The Department of Defense (DoD) has security measures in place to safeguard classified information. However, with the multitude of service members, families, and civilians connecting via social media, there is always the possibility of inadvertently revealing important data. Therefore, it is crucial to be mindful of your social media posts and refrain from sharing sensitive information. In general, it is advisable to avoid mentioning the following on social media: – Descriptions of military bases – Morale – Daily military activities and operations – Technical details – Weapon system specifics – Equipment status – Deployment dates or locations – Home phone number or address
#2 Use a VPN
The military should think about social media security first. To protect yourself from tracking, and hackers, and hide your IP address, you should use VPN for Chrome or another browser. With a powerful VPN, for example, VeePN in free trial mode, you can significantly reduce all kinds of cybersecurity risks. You can even use a VPN for sports betting, gaming, ordering goods from abroad, travel, and more. VPNs have many uses, but security is the main one.
#3 Turn off geotagging
Operations security involves safeguarding information about troop movements. Thus, it’s essential to refrain from using location-based apps or services, such as check-ins, while deployed or in classified areas.
Additionally, it’s important to be cautious about geotagging, which reveals the exact location and time a photo was taken. This information could potentially facilitate the targeting of military installations, personnel, or even family homes by adversaries. Most smartphones automatically enable this feature, so it’s crucial to deactivate it. If posting photos that may contain sensitive content, consider using a JPEG or PNG stripper program to remove any metadata before uploading the photo.
#4 Verify the people in your network
Are you certain that you are acquainted with everyone in your network? Consider perusing your friends and connections on your social networking accounts. You shouldn’t have people you don’t know. Even better – be guided by trust. It is wise to create a network of closest friends and communicate with them, because it is for them that your personal information will be of interest. This way you will avoid data leakage.
#5 Be suspicious
If someone asks you for money or a wire transfer to cover a service member’s transportation, medical expenses, communication fees, or marriage-processing costs, it’s important to be cautious and skeptical. Also, be especially careful with public Wi-Fi, as their owners can intercept and store your data. You can protect yourself with the free VPN addon by VeePN, which encrypts your data. This means that even if your traffic is intercepted, without the encryption key, all this is useless. The key cannot be obtained.
#6 Educate your friends and family
Sometimes, friends and family may unknowingly share sensitive or classified information online. It is important to have conversations with them about the private nature of certain details, like your location or activities. Kindly ask them to refrain from posting such material on their social media accounts.
For instance, it would be best if they avoid posting specific information such as:
My daughter is currently in the ABC unit at XYZ camp in XXX city in Iraq.
My brother is serving on the ABC ship and will be returning to XYZ city or country in X days.
My family resides in Sacramento, California.
Instead, encourage them to use more general terms like:
My son is currently serving in Iraq.
She will be returning home soon.
I’m from the West Coast.
By doing so, we can protect the privacy and security of our personal information.
#7 Change your social network settings
It’s important to change the privacy settings in your social media accounts to “Friends Only” so you can control who sees your posts. However, don’t solely rely on this step to completely protect yourself. The best way to keep your personal information safe is to avoid posting it in the first place. Remember, even if you share a post with a small circle of friends, they can still forward it to a wider audience. Adjusting your social media privacy settings is a breeze. For instance, Facebook provides a convenient Privacy Checkup tool that guides you through the crucial areas you’ll want to secure: your posts, your apps, and your profile. You can also manage the audiences for your posts by clicking the Audience icon on each post.
Social media is a wonderful tool, but it’s crucial to grasp its proper usage and protect your information. By following the steps mentioned earlier, you can ensure that only those who should be aware of your service member activities have access to such details. With appropriate security measures in place, you can stay connected while keeping yourself and your loved ones safe from potential risks.