If you raised a military hero, you may have heard of OPSEC. Operations Security (OPSEC) is a way to secure information that can be used against us by enemies.
As a military mom, it's easy to fall into the habit of sharing details about our service member on social media, like photos with our son's name showing, deployment dates, or even countdowns until they come home without realizing the potential consequences.
It is important to remember that once information is posted online, it can be accessed by anyone, including adversaries. As a result, our service members may be put in danger.
What is OPSEC actually?
OPSEC is the process of protecting sensitive information from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. In the military, this is especially important as it can affect the success of operations and the safety of our service members.
Why you should never post deployment information online?
Posting deployment dates online can put your child in danger by potentially giving away information to adversaries and exposing them to hostile actions.
There have been cases where deployment dates have had to be changed due to too many people posting the original date online. This not only puts that information in front of adversaries but also causes frustration, uncertainty, and extra stress to your child and your family as well.
How to OPSEC on Social Media
When it comes to social media and OPSEC, it is crucial to be cautious about what information you share online. Even if you are posting in a private FB group or on a secured network, there will still be a risk that the information could be accessed by adversaries who wish to use it against you and your soldier.
To lower the risks when posting information about your child on social media, you should consider the following tips
- Avoid posting identifying information, such as name, rank, and unit information
- Be cautious about sharing location-based information, such as check-ins, geotags, and travel plans
- Be mindful of the details you share about upcoming deployments and return dates
- Be careful about sharing sensitive information, such as unit movements, mission details, and other classified information
What is PERSEC?
In addition to OPSEC, it's also important for us military moms to be aware of, which is PERSEC. PERSEC refers to the protection of personal information, such as social security numbers, addresses, and phone numbers, from being accessed or used by unauthorized individuals. This is especially important in the age of the internet, where personal information can be easily accessed and exploited.
Resources for Military Moms to Learn More about OPSEC and PERSEC
Below are some resources to learn more about OPSEC, PERSEC, and how they can affect our military members, and what you should keep in mind to practice daily
- U.S Department of Defense OPSEC
- U.S. Army Operational Security Facebook Page – lots of information here.
- Naval Operational Security Facebook Page
- Military Spot – OPSEC and PERSEC
- DOD Live – check out the downloads for families
By prioritizing both OPSEC and PERSEC in our daily life, you can help protect your military and family from potential threats and maintain your privacy from adversaries. It's a small but really important aspect of being a military mom, so that you could support your child and the military as a whole.