GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Social media provides a great platform to communicate and share information, but the smallest mistake could lead to serious repercussions, such as identity theft, account hacking or even becoming a victim of a scam.

Social media is one of the themes which the Army is focusing on during August, which has been declared Anti-terrorism Awareness Month.

While the U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Anti-terrorism and Force Protection office is posting tips on how to safely use social media throughout the month of August, one battalion decided to go a step further and provide training to their Soldiers and family members.

Lt. Col. Robert Fago, commander, 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion stated, "This is our first attempt at training related to social media."

Using the Army's approved training website, Maj. Richard Hagner, 44th ESB executive officer, created an adult learning environment with back-and-forth discussion which not only educated on the dangers of posting too much information on the Web, but also afforded an opportunity to take the online test and receive an official Army certificate of training.

"The training is mandatory for anyone who manages an official Army social media site," Hagner said. "The intent is to ensure we do not violate operational security while providing Soldiers and their families updates through social media. Our battalion and the companies currently have Facebook pages, so we want to ensure the administrators are properly trained."

Sgt. Anish Abraham, 44th ESB automations NCO and instructor for this class, compared social media to posting a sign with personal information in your front yard.

"If you wouldn't put it on a sign in your front yard, then you shouldn't be putting it on Facebook," he said.

Kathy Bryant attended the training and said, "This training should get out to all Soldiers and family members. People would definitely benefit from this training."

The course does more than just tell people to be careful online, it gives them the tools necessary to guide them during their daily social media interactions, including privacy settings on their browser, photograph location-tagging safety, countermeasures one can take and most importantly, resources one can use.

Page last updated Fri August 23rd, 2013 at 00:00