Protect Sensitive Information

By Tony DavisMay 23, 2023

Operational security is designed to protect sensitive, critical information and to keep it out of the hands of the bad guys.

Fort Meade Garrison’s Operational Security office makes an effort throughout the year to remind service members, Department of Defense civilians, contractors and family members about OPSEC rules.

It is important to remember that the country’s adversaries are diligent in their efforts to obtain sensitive information that can help them plan another terrorist attack. Our adversaries are always watching, listening and learning.

We have the power to stop them from doing this.

About 90 percent of all intelligence the enemy gathers comes from open sources such as websites, interception of cordless phone conversations, texts and documents thrown in trash bins.

Critical information that adversaries may try to access include data about military personnel such as casualty, damage and serious incident reports and deployment schedules, as well as information regarding operational-readiness and the roles and capabilities of key installation personnel.

Computer hackers and predators can ravage through emails, blogs, Facebook pages and websites for such information.

To protect sensitive information, our workforce (military personnel and DoD civilians) must take advantage of the email and instant messaging features available through Army Knowledge Online and Defense Knowledge Online, which are operated by the DoD and have stringent security protocols.

Our workforce must encrypt NIPR sensitive work-related email communications, use only government email networks (such as outlook/OWA), and edit emails on AKO or DKO for OPSEC before hitting send.

OPSEC protects critical information from adversaries. Therefore, office shredders and burn bags must be used to dispose of documents that include isolation, diagnosis and treatment capacity; critical shortages of sensitive medical items; Army vulnerabilities and impacts to training, operations, exercise and modernization efforts; alert rosters; personnel records; home addresses; and telephone numbers on reports that may hint or reveal an installation’s strengths, unit readiness, assets and future operations.

Our workforce cannot discuss sensitive work-related information in areas such as restaurants or any other public setting.

When teleworking, our workforce cannot participate in sensitive work-related planning within hearing of family members and cannot print sensitive work related planning products at home.

Family members should never disclose sensitive information such as birthdays, Social Security numbers, information regarding special operations-type units, family photographs, credit card numbers and security codes on Facebook, Twitter, blogs or other websites.Our workforce must always be alert and attentive. The terrorists are always watching and looking for an opportunity to gather information about our mission.