Commentary

October 30, 2015
 

Staying vigilant with cyber security

Senior Airman Adarius Petty
432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

October is cyber security awareness month and members are advised to stay mindful about what they say and post on social networks. In recent years military members and their families have faced dangers due to information leaked on social media.

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Cyber security is a very important part of living life in the digital age here. It plays a huge role in keeping members safe on government networks and on the Internet.
October is cyber security awareness month and members are advised to stay mindful about what they say and post on social networks. In recent years military members and their families have faced dangers due to information leaked on social media.
“Many military members believe they are not likely to be targets on social media,” said Special Agent Derek Han, Air Force Office of Special Investigations commander. “This can create a false sense of security, which provides opportunities for hackers or adversaries to collect pieces of information that may not seem important by itself, but collectively, establishes a complete picture of who that military member is.”
Maj. Jamie, 432nd Wing operations security manager, said it’s important to be aware of what information members are distributing especially when it comes to protecting the critical information list.
“Anything from operational to maintenance details, you want to make sure those emails are encrypted when you send them to any one on base,” Jamie said.
Members are reminded that having good cyber security can not only help you and your family, but also can help the Air Force and people around you safe. Having poor cyber security habits can leave you vulnerable to a number of threats.
The Department Of Defense social media web guide gave the following suggestions for keeping members’ information safe:
• Don’t give personal information. Don’t provide any personal or financial information unless you’ve initiated the call and it’s to a phone number you know to be correct. Never provide financial information by email.
• Don’t wire money. The government won’t ask you to wire money or put it on a prepaid debit card. Also, the government won’t ask you to pay money to claim a grant, prize or refund.
• Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can spoof their numbers so it looks like they are calling from a government agency, even when they are not. Federal agencies will not call to tell you they are giving you money.
Additionally, there are several ways Airmen can protect themselves on social media:
• Take notice of security settings. Are you hard to find/access? Each social network platform has security settings, but Airmen should not rely solely on those settings and should make their profiles as secure as possible.
• Disable location-based social media, or geotagging. This alerts others to your exact location and could inadvertently reveal more information than should be out there.
• Do not post work or personal schedules or travel itineraries. This is especially true if the travel is related to deployments. Posting this information could give adversaries information on troop locations and movements.
• Be aware of backgrounds in photos. Sensitive or classified information could inadvertently be in the photo. The background could also give clues as to where you are and what you are doing.
For more information, visit the Department of Defense Social Media Web Guide at http://dodcio.defense.gov/socialmedia.




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