Be smart, think before you post
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- “In late September, Islamic State sympathizers harassed an Air Force member who had posted pictures online from a flight over Iraq during a recent bombing campaign,” according to Fox News.
The article continued, saying not only was the military member targeted, but his family was as well.
The Department of Defense makes it clear that social media awareness is a serious matter, especially when it comes to putting one’s self, fellow service members or family member’s lives and/or safety on the line.
In order to prevent these occurrences, the military invests time briefing the importance of operational security to service members, as well as explaining the significance of educating their families.
According to Gunnery Sgt. Ibidayo Dawodu, OPSEC manager for Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, OPSEC can include any sensitive information, pertaining to information about the unit deployment program, times and dates of troop movements and more.
“I expect continuous action out of the leaders of the sections, to make sure they emphasize more about how to mitigate risks by their personnel,” said Dawodu.
With Facebook and Twitter, the leading causes of leaked information, terrorists today are already monitoring military members and their families, according to Andrew R. Samuels, MCAS Iwakuni anti-terrorism officer.
“There are individuals who want to be fake friends with fake photos of military so they can monitor military information via Facebook and it happens on a daily basis,” said Samuels.
Some of the information they gain, according to Samuels, includes where military members and their families live, what schools they attend, when and where military spouses are deployed and other such details.
“They are now keying in on our military personnel by going through the backdoor: our children and spouses,” said Samuels. “The military member is supposed to brief their family, to keep them updated on such concerns.”
Although Facebook and Twitter currently lead statistics in leaked OPSEC information, service members could be targeted via other means, such as internet scams, e-mails and the release of personal information on the internet which someone could steal a service member’s identity, or extort money through threats.
Samuels and Dawodu encourage service members and their families to constantly practice social media awareness, because one post could mean the difference between a successful or jeopardized deployment.
For more information pertaining to OPSEC and sensitive information, call Gunnery Sgt. Dawodu at 253-4247, or the Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Hotline at 253-2837.