When our spouses are deployed, what is one of the major things talked about and stressed to us most? OPSEC or operational security.
Operational security. As my husband's CO always says in his updates, "As a continued Operational Security (OPSEC) reminder, the general rule of thumb is that we can talk about what we have done in the past ... but we must be very careful with talking about details regarding where we currently are, what we are currently doing, and where we are going next. Remember, ‘loose lips sink ships’ and the newest one is ‘loose tweets sink fleets.’”
But what about PERSEC or “personal security?” Before a deployment starts we hear it tossed around. PERSEC is being careful of what we say and do and being every mindful of the safety of ourselves and our families.
Simple enough, right?
Well, sort of. Actually, the whole thing can be a little confusing, especially when there are so many avenues of social media around us. I know it sounds a little crazy, but in all reality you just don't know who is paying attention to your tweets, Facebook status updates, and Instagram posts.
The truth is we live in a crazy enough world that we really need to be vigilant in the protection of ourselves and our families whether our loved ones are deployed or not. So here are three easy PERSEC rules to keep in mind when posting to social media sites.
Always assume that what you post is being seen by the public. Yes, naturally make sure all your security settings are marked to private, or viewed by 'friends only' depending on the site platform. However, this is the World Wide Web and nothing is ever 100% secure. Ever.
Turn your default location settings to 'off.’ Think about your current life situation. Is your husband deployed? Are you frequently alone? Do you want someone to easily be able to find you? I don't.
Protect the identities of you and your children. Personal info isn't needed. Remember, on Facebook you're posting information for your family and friends and they are likely to already know this information.
As military families we generally think of those 'bad guy lurkers' being terrorists. I know I have heard plenty of rumors in the past about wives whose husbands are deployed, too much info is posted publicly, and they get very scary threats sent to them.
Are those rumors true? Possibly. But do you want to test that out? I don't.
But we also need to keep in mind that there are more than just terrorists out there as everyday predators. Criminals and thieves are actually pretty internet savvy themselves. Keep in mind who you're attracting the attention of and possibly to your doorstep.
Again, I know this can sound slightly neurotic to some, but in this day in age my belief is that there is no such thing as 'too safe' where my family is concerned.
Laura is a USMC wife and SAHMommy to her son and twin girls. While being a mommy and a military wife keeps her on her toes, she loves moving every three years and the many adventures military life has to offer. She works from home as a freelance writer and blogger, lives on cereal and coffee, and is a craft fail master in training. You can find Laura on instagram as lolagishell, where she shares her daily Deployment Gratitude posts and other fun photos.