GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Service members and their families need to play a more strategic role online in the wake of a series of threatening social media messages aimed at Soldiers here, according to intelligence officials.
A Soldier within the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria footprint recently received messages on a private Facebook page deemed by investigators as malicious and aggressive.
"Potential foreign adversaries are using social media to make threats toward service members," said Adam Troxel, lead special agent with the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade.
It remains unclear how many service members have been targeted, but even one is one too many.
"We take any cases of malicious and aggressive social media activity very seriously," Troxel said. "For one, we will ensure the security of our service members and their families. And secondly, we aim to maintain readiness within the ranks. A commander cannot afford to lose a Soldier who must travel home in response to an online threat to his family."
If you or someone you know is in receipt of threatening or malicious social media messaging, you can submit an online report at iSalute (www.inscom.army.mil/isalute). If you live within the USAG Bavaria community, contact the USAG Bavaria counterintelligence office (www.bavaria.army.mil/ci) at the Grafenwoehr Field Office at DSN 569-1928, CIV 09641-70-569-1928. Or, contact CID at DSN 475-7339/7340, CIV 09641-83-7339/7340.
As social media continues to evolve, so too has the number of online predators. While only a few years ago cybersecurity implied protecting personal information online, today cybersecurity translates into a more proactive role.
"It's important to realize that social media is a global domain where our personal lives can be exposed to potential threats," Troxel said.
Soldiers and their families need now more than ever to step up their game in protecting their online identities -- from tightening security settings on Facebook to ensuring name tags are not in view in photographs shared online.
Here are a few relevant and up-to-date methods provided by Army Cyber Command and the Army Criminal Investigation Command's Computer Crime Investigative Unit.