Keep OPSEC in mind, even online

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Torri Ingalsbe
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
In today's highly technological world, the fast-paced sharing of information can be considered friend or foe to those in the Air Force.

There are several public Web sites which offer individuals free membership to create personalized Web pages. Two of the most popular social-networking sites are MySpace and FaceBook.

"Operations security is important at any time," said Master Sgt. Anthony Arens, 48th Security Forces Squadron, Antiterrorism Office NCOIC. "It can be more important on public Web sites because you never know who you're talking to or who is surfing the site for sensitive information."

A high priority warning was sent out by MI5, Britain's Security Service, early this month urging servicemembers to remove personal information on social-networking sites. The document stated that any information pertaining to military is invaluable in the hands of Al-Qaida.

"Personal information in and of itself is not always dangerous," said Sergeant Arens. "If you couple personal information with additional information on what you do, where you do it and where you are going next, it can be very dangerous. A person who is looking for sensitive information can piece together small bits in order to complete a larger picture."
Sergeant Arens said that any information can be sensitive, particularly information that relates to the mission of an active duty member's unit. He added that family members who have profiles on public Web sites should also be careful about the information they post about their active duty sponsors.

According to Sergeant Arens, missions that involve deployments to areas where military is actively involved in combat operations is highly sensitive and talking about it in public forum could put personnel at risk of a terrorist attack, especially when traveling to and from the area of operations.

Each unit has a force protection manager who receives threat information from the installation antiterrorism office as it develops.

Sergeant Arens said it's important that each individual stay vigilant and be conscious of what they're putting out there.

"Each military member and family member should ask themselves, 'Is this information really important, and if so, should I be talking about it?'"

For more information, contact your unit's FPM or the Antiterrorism Office at 226-1402.