ISIS threats, the Navy SEAL who claims he shot and killed Osama bi Laden has been revealed and odd social media accounts trying to add us as friends? Maybe we should be examining social media “do’s” and “don’ts” for military families. Maybe we should be making a few changes to keep us safe!
Military Family Social Media Do’s
- be careful about how much information you give out on social media. I have a rule that in most cases I only share what I did after the fact. This means waiting on Instagram photos and waiting until something has already happened before I share it. I just feel better about this and know that if I do it this way, I can keep my family a little safer.
- ask your spouse what they are comfortable with you sharing. Some service members would prefer you don’t share anything at all. Others are more open with it.
- guard your Facebook account. Don’t add people you don’t know. Be smart. Don’t feel like you have to respond to someone because they sent you a message. Block anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable.
- remember PERSEC. This is when you are careful about what personal information to share online. It is a good idea to edit out any last name, rank or unit information when sharing photos of your loved one in uniform.
- listen to any warnings coming from your spouse’s command. They might have more information than you do and it would be best to listen to them when it comes to this.
Military Family Social Media Don’t…
- break OPSEC. This is sharing information with dates and locations. It is a big no-no. Even something as simple as, “My soldier will be home in three days” is breaking OPSEC. It might not seem like what you are saying is that important but if someone reads it, reads a few other posts, they can put things together and that can make things unsafe for you or your service member.
- tell the world everything about you. The world doesn’t need to know. Keep some things private. It is not only a good idea but it will make you feel better when you are not sharing everything with the world.
- leave social media altogether. You don’t have to do this. You can customize your settings, post smartly and you should be OK. You don’t have to leave and delete yourself from the virtual world.
- post photos of where you live, where your kids go to school or anything that could easily be used to find you in person. This can be hard to do when you have so many social media accounts but it is the best way to keep yourself safe.
- ignore social media privacy settings. You can make it so only your family sees your photos and your posts about your kids. This doesn’t mean you should share all on there, just take some time to tighten things up so only the people you really want to see your personal information can see it. Facebook also has a way to turn all of your public posts private at once which is a great thing to do every once in a while.