Staying safe on social media sites
September 25, 2013
Since its inception in 2008 Army Contracting Command has used some form of social media. Today, ACC can be found on nearly a dozen sites and several of its subordinate organizations have launched their own social media pages.
The most active site for ACC is Facebook. The site is used to keep the general public, as well as employees, informed on the happenings around the command.
Even with its steady growth and increased popularity, some employees have expressed privacy and security concerns. Interacting with ACC online is safe, but there are precautions users should take.
What about OPSEC?
Operational security is a valid concern. Social media presents people with the opportunity to share everyday details about their lives, but it also allows the world to know those details. Keeping accounts secure is the first step in limiting who sees what is shared. Good OPSEC practices should become online habits both personally and professionally.
When sharing work photos or details online remember to never post sensitive government information or photos of secured areas, battle-damaged equipment or identification badges. The same philosophy should be considered in personal posts -- don't let people know when a home is empty, broadcast extremely personal information or share detailed travel plans.
Is the information online secure?
Each social media site has its own security and privacy settings. With Facebook it is vital that employees use sound judgment when posting and sharing. Security experts recommend setting all the options to friends only, preventing the general public from being able to access the information and posts. Instagram and Twitter have private options which enable only those users approved to follow posts.
Should I follow ACC?
The public affairs staff is frequently asked about ensuring privacy when following ACC online. A "page" on Facebook works a bit different than the traditional profile. Becoming someone's friend online enables that person to see the friend's posts, thus creating a two-way relationship. However, if a user likes or follows one of ACC's social media accounts, the relationship remains one-way. For example, deciding to like ACC's Facebook page means ACC's posts will now appear in the selectee's newsfeed. However, the selectees' name and profile photo are all that is available to a page administrator. By liking ACC's page, supervisors will not be able to see what employees post and share online.
(Beth Clemons is the ACC social media manager. If you have questions or concerns about interacting online, call 256-955-7648 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)