Sunday, June 25, 2017

5 Commandments of PERSEC


 I know what you're thinking....another post about another acronym? 


    PERSEC also known as Personal Security is VERY important.

     Recent articles such as a piece on Politico have shown a recent uptick in hackers targeting military members and their families. While this is nothing new, you still need to remember that what you are posting online and saying in public can be seen or heard by ANYONE. 

A recent hack back in 2016 primarily targeted military members and veterans. Nearly 22% of those hacked included journalists and 1/5th of them were military spouses who wrote about military life.....scary. (Source)

   While hackers might not be after still need to be careful. What you should and should not post about yourself, your life, your spouse's life, etc. can be confusing. Here is a simple guide to help you stay as safe as possible on and offline.
1. PERSEC is not OPSEC
   While both are important, OPSEC primarily focuses on things such as deployment dates, troop movement, training information, etc. PERSEC is focused on more personal things like where you live, what job your spouse has, your children's information, etc. 

2. Support groups are not always safe
    Many spouses are parts of Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr support groups. These groups are great sources of information and support but they are not 100% safe. 

    I have seen people join that pretend to be married to military members but are not at all. I have seen someone post where they work and people from those group have reached out to their jobs when the didn't like what someone wrote. 


The internet is still the wild west and we all need to remember that our information is never secret.

3. Oversharing can be annoying....and unsafe
   None of us are innocent in posting a bit too much about what we are up to. It is a normal thing to do. We need to remember that there are certain things that not everyone needs to know about. 

    Example #1: You posting an Instagram about your spouse leaving for NTC is almost a surefire way to guarantee that you will be home alone. This isn't to say that you are some damsel in distress who can't live on their own and handle their &#$! but why make it known?

4. Pictures say a thousand words....that don't need to be said
    I love Instagram more than I should.  I have probably posted a picture of my husband and I a few times a month. While it is completely okay to post photos of your SO, keep in mind who might be looking at them and what kind of information people can find out simply from a photograph.

    I have decided to wait on posting the photo until we are gone from the place the photo was taken. I also post a vague location like a state or city instead of a restaurant or store. If I receive a sketchy request or follow, I will simply block them.

    I will NEVER post pictures of my car, church, or the outside of my house (that is my biggest pet peeve). Those are my personal spaces that I share with those I love...not my followers. These are all simple things that can help you feel a little bit safer but still take advantage of the positive sides of social media.

5. Some things are better left unsaid
      I would've been a bit annoyed if my husband posted everything I did at work and what my job is. Your spouse's unit, MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), etc. should be personal information that doesn't need to be known to strangers. 
      We are responsible for the things we post. Many of us have spouses with clearances that require them to use more discretion with what they say and do. We are not bound to those rules in any way but it is not our job to share information they do not want the world to know.

   We do not need to live in fear or under a rock. It is fun to see what my friends are up to online and to share what I'm up to in at our new duty station. The world of social media can make us think that we are safer than we actually are. 

Think before you post.


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