Commentary

May 11, 2012

Vacation OPSEC

Protecting your family’s critical information

by Ryan Finnegan
95th ABW, OPSEC program manager

Vacation and permanent change of station time is quickly drawling upon us once again.

As the weather warms up and kids are getting ready to get out of school, many of us will be leaving the area, some for good.

With that being said, it is important to remember to practice good family Operational Security. While most of us associate OPSEC with protecting critical and sensitive military information, it is just as important you establish and safeguard your family’s private and sensitive information.

Although there is no real family critical information list, here are a few suggestions to begin thinking about what is important to your family: Vacation dates, times, locations; is anyone watching the house?; where you’ll be staying on vacation. This is key information that criminals need to take advantage of your possessions while you are away.

Protecting your family’s information is easier than you think. There are a couple of quick and easy steps you can take that will make it hard for an adversary to obtain the information they need.

First step is to decide who has a “need to know.” Discuss the pertinent details of your trip with only those people. These could range from family members, closest friend, work supervisors and anyone who is watching your house while you are gone.

Second, and probably most important, is keep your travel plans off of social media sites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Although you may be excited to take a break from the High Desert, the entire world doesn’t need to know about it. It is not difficult for a criminal to stumble across your post that you will be gone for two weeks; then when you “check-in” from the airport their clock starts ticking. Wait until you return to tell the world you had the most wonderful vacation and then post your pictures.

Lastly, remember you are on vacation and try to enjoy it. Leave your work at work. If you must work on a project, or take a work phone call, do so in private. Never work on a sensitive project in the open or where others can see what you are working on – you never know who is watching.

While checking into a hotel that requires you to show your Military ID/Common Access Card, ensure it is not photocopied. You may present your ID for verification purposes, however, federal law prohibits photocopying of U.S. Government Identification Cards. This is to preserve the integrity of these forms of identification.

Following these simple steps will allow you to protect the information that means most to you and your family and will help you to have a safe and enjoyable vacation.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but if we exercise, our cells get...
 
 

Gaining Altitude — Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community Have you ever tried to change your character?  It’s easier to change a behavior, like drinking less soda, than to change a character trait, like using sarcasm to respond to others. Why is it so difficult? One author puts it this...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding the gate.” The list could...
 

 

‘We’re all in this together’ — A senior NCO’s five constants

Service in the Air Force today means different things for different people. Depending on your unique circumstances, such as family dynamics, job or upbringing, how you navigate through those dynamics can have a significant impact on your time serving and significantly help you prepare for the day you no longer will wear the uniform, whether...
 
 

Gaining Altitude — Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community Facebook and Twitter allow us to communicate whatever we want, whenever we want.  We tend to respond to any issue that frustrates us and tugs at our emotional heart strings. One thing that our posts and blogs typically lack is civility....
 
 

Separated but not alone

As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “how am I going to manage taking care of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>