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Posted 3/10/2017

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By Charlie Provine
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Security

If you recognize some of the above symbols, you might be into Facebook, Twitter or other social media.  If it’s totally Greek to you, learn more.  Your kids and our young Soldiers surely communicate this way.  And, unfortunately, foreign intelligence services, their cyber warriors and intelligence collectors, and even local criminals are very, very aware of this potential vulnerability.  Social media is a hot security topic of interest right now.

The use of such venues as Twitter and Facebook (officially and individually) is authorized in most cases, but you are reminded that you have no control over your message or comment once posted and you should practice operational security at all times.

Before posting, consider the following security items:

  • Look closely at all privacy settings.  Set security options to allow visibility to “friends only.” 
  • Do not reveal sensitive information about yourself such as schedules and event locations.
  • Ask, “What could the wrong person do with this information?” and “Could it compromise my safety or that of my family or co-workers?”
  • Geotagging is a feature that reveals your location to other people within your network.  Consider turning off the GPS function of your smartphone, tablet, or digital camera.
  • Photos and videos can go viral quickly.  Closely review them before posting to ensure they don’t give away sensitive information which could be dangerous if released.
  • Talk to your family about operations security.  Be sure they know what can and cannot be posted. 

The Department of Defense has an extensive set of sites to learn more about social media in all services.  Please visit http://dodcio.defense.gov/Social-Media/ for the Social Media Handbook 2nd Edition and military social media links.  It has an expanded OPSEC section, a section about blogging, Army Strong Stories, and advice on handling fake Facebook pages and social media impostors. 

As many ERDC employees travel and photograph potentially sensitive sites or projects, please learn more about GeoTagging and potential OPSEC issues with personal cameras and work cameras with Geotagging enabled. 

Be Security Conscious @ERDC and @Home 


ERDCinfo@usace.army.mil, ERDC Security, 601 634-4595

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