Social media describes the different means by which people, enabled by digital communication technologies, connect with one another to share information and engage in conversations on topics of mutual interest. Social media is an umbrella term describing a variety of communication mediums and platforms including social networks, blogs, mobile applications, and others. The way people get information has changed and the desire to have real conversations with individuals, organizations, and government entities has increased.
Using Social Media
The Navy encourages service members to share their stories of service online with the American people. The Navy also encourages personnel to use social media to stay connected to loved ones. With the increased quantity and visibility of online information, it is important to maintain integrity and security online at all time.
Upholding Operations Security
Operations security (OPSEC) should be maintained online just as it is offline. OPSEC violations commonly occur when personnel share information with people they do not know well or are unaware of loose privacy settings. Everyone, including service members and family members, has a duty to protect their command, their shipmates and their family by always maintaining OPSEC. So the next time you send your friends a comment or post a tweet, think about who else may be seeing it.
Protect your families by limiting the amount and type of information you post about family members such as names, addresses, or schools.
- Understand each of your social network’s security settings so you can make informed decisions about who is and is not able to view your information and/or photos.
- Keep classified and sensitive information safe by not discussing critical information such as ship movements, deployments, personnel rosters, and weapons information.
- If you hesitate when deciding whether you should share information, DON’T post it online!
Report all possible potential OPSEC breach immediately to your OPSEC officer, security manager, public affairs officer, or supervisor to take any necessary corrective action.
Securing Your Social Media
Attempted intrusions into DoD networks by spear-phishing or a social media based attack occur frequently. While it is legal to access social media sites from your DoD computer, there are precautions that you should take to make both your personal information and our government networks safe from attack.
Some tips from the FBI on securing your social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus are available for download below. If you feel that the security controls on these "tips cards" are too restrictive to your social presence, you are free to choose lesser levels of security for your individual settings. However, if you do choose to deviate from the recommended controls, please consider the implications of reducing security and consider whether it could compromise your personal information, DoD operational security, or any DoD information, especially personally identifiable information (PII).
Though social networking sites vary in function, these do’s and don’ts are universal for all:
- Establish and maintain connections only with people you know and trust. Review your connections often.
- Assume that ANYONE can see any information about your activities, personal life, or professional life that you post and share.
- Ensure that your family takes similar precautions with their accounts; their privacy and sharing settings can expose your personal data.
- Avoid posting or tagging images of you or your family that clearly show your face. Select pictures taken at a distance, at an angle, or otherwise obscured. Never post Smartphone photos and don’t use your face as a profile photo, instead, use cartoons or avatars.
- Use secure browser settings when possible.