I think this issue needs to be discussed by BOTH military and civilian bloggers.
We all need to think twice about what we share on the internet.
- OPSEC :
- OPSEC or Operations Security is being aware of what you are sharing because it could give away more information than you intended - this is usually related to military or combat operations.
- PERSEC :
- PERSEC or Personal Security is also being aware of what you are sharing because it could give away more information than you intended - this is usually of a more personal nature.
As a military wife, I have heard over and over again, the "importance of OPSEC" and how "OPSEC and PERSEC can save your life." Honestly, my eyes start to glaze over and I want to cover my ears, because I've heard the lecture so many times.
But when I hear people talking about specific dates for the next deployment at the Commissary or the PX? Or openly discussing the training schedule at the Post Office?
Don't talk about the time frame.
Don't talk about the mission.
Don't talk about equipment.
Don't talk about numbers.
Don't talk about destinations.
Don't spread rumors.
Don't share pictures with unit insignia
Phone, email, chat rooms, message boards, blogs.
Always assume someone is listening.
I know deployment is hard and we all count the days but I always bite my lip when I see a countdown ticker in blog sidebars... Are you telling a terrorist that your soldier's entire Battalion (1,000 service members) is flying in the next week? Are you posting to Facebook/Twitter "Wheels up in two hours - better get my hair done! #deploymentalmostover"?
Come on now friends - we need to think about the information we are putting out there. And we need to respectfully point it out to each other..
Polite and honest constructive criticism could prevent a terrorist attack and potentially save my soldier's life.
Yes - it's that serious.
As for PERSEC or Personal Security, I read two posts a few weeks ago, written by Darcy at My 3 Boybarians, where she spoke about blogging and using discretion with her children. It hit home with me. After talking it over at length with my husband, we have decided I will continue to use my children's real names.
But it did spark some great conversation between us. And I have starting thinking twice about what I share via my online status updates.
A few weeks ago I thought nothing of tweeting....
"Going to the Commissary - really wish Hubby was home to carry in the milk... #thisdeploymentstinks"
Which could translate to...
"Dear Burglars - My house will be empty for the next two hours and there's no man around!
Wanna stop by for a soda and some free stuff?"
So now instead I write...
"Whew! Made it to the Commissary and back without selling one of my children! #timeforchocolate"
I am not suggesting we all become paranoid.
After all, Blogging is about building relationships and being part of a community.
However, I do think there is point where too much information can compromise personal safety and some discretion is warranted... As we attend Blogging conferences or correspond with friends outside of blogging, we are no longer anonymous - I myself have made wonderful new friendships across the globe by sharing a love for coupons.
But let's face it - not everyone with access to the internet
has all the best intentions at heart.