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Keeping Your Information Secure and Hackers at a Safe Distance

Social media is a big part of our lives and often drives how we communicate with family, friends, co-workers, schools, and the community at large.   Hackers and scammers can wreak havoc on our online accounts.  The information that we post, using unprotected WIFI servers, and compromised data collected by retailers, banks, and even the government may place Service members and their families at risk for identity theft.  Follow these simple tips from the Carleton University website to keep your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, online banking applications and more to keep your personal and private information safe

Use a strong password. The longer it is, the more secure it will be.

Use a different password for each of your social media accounts.

Set up your security answers. This option is available for most social media sites.

If you have social media apps on your phone, be sure to password protect your device.

Be selective with friend requests. If you don’t know the person, don’t accept their request. It could be a fake account.

Click links with caution. Social media accounts are regularly hacked. Look out for language or content that does not sound like something your friend    would post.

Be careful about what you share. Don’t reveal sensitive personal information ie: home address, financial information, phone number. The more you post the easier it is to have your identity stolen.

Become familiar with the privacy policies of the social media channels you use and customize your privacy settings to control who sees what.

Protect your computer by installing antivirus software to safeguard. Also ensure that your browser, operating system, and software are kept up to date.

Remember to log off when you’re done.

Service members and their families must be aware of additional measures to keep our troops and family members safe.  Military installations, armories, and other government facilities practice Operations Security (OPSEC) and use a process to assess risk to information, mission capabilities, resources, and people.  According to the Department of Defense, the OPEC Process is an analytical process that involves five components: identification of critical information, analysis of threats, analysis of vulnerabilities, assessment of risks, and application of appropriate countermeasures.   The OPSEC is a process designed to protect sensitive, unclassified, and for official use only information out of the hands of those who can use it to cause harm.  Service members, community members, and families play a vital role in assisting military leaders with keeping information safe.

To keep Service members and their families informed, prepared, and empowered to manage the challenges of the military lifestyle unit leaders are often faced with the need to share critical information and conducted training annually on OPSEC and sensitive information awareness.  Widely shared critical includes security measures to restrict access to military installations and armories, drill schedules, deployment schedules and locations, military capabilities, and more.  If you have questions about sharing specific information on social media sites, please consult your Service member, unit family readiness group advisor, or Family Assistance team for guidance.   The Family Assistance team can be reached at 1-800-292-9464, option 1.