Cyber Crisis: Protecting your family in a war waged by hackers

cyber-crisisRaise your hand if you’ve ever heard the term “OPSEC.”

What about “PII?” Or “PERSEC?”

It’s fairly common for military families to know an arsenal of acronyms that pertain to their service member, or military culture in general. While a lot of them are important, not understanding these three acronyms in particular can put you and your family in harm’s way.

OPSEC, or Operational Security, keeps our military information secure and out of the hands of those who could harm us – not just in person, but online, too. Sharing things like your loved one’s rank or job title, where they’re stationed, or when they’re returning home could get you in trouble. In some cases, even having a unit-specific sticker on your car could be a violation of OPSEC.

PII, or Personal Identifiable Information, is any information that can be pieced together to determine your identity. Things like your social security number and name are the obvious ones. But when someone knows your first name, email address, and the town you live in, it becomes easier to then determine your last name. With your full name, a person could search property records and find your address. And by simply driving by your home, they’d see the decal on your car, “Half of my heart is in Iraq.” They now know your service member is deployed and you are home alone, just from sharing too much PII.

PERSEC, or Personal Security, like OPSEC, reminds us to be aware of what we are sharing. Terrorists are just as tech savvy as you and I, and in most cases, have the means and abilities to find out things about us that we didn’t know they could.

With the internet being our main way to communicate with our service members when deployed, pay your bills, share photos, and do online banking, we have to be even more cautious of what we share online. If you aren’t careful, each of these seemingly harmless actions can lead to over-sharing, and can put your family in danger.

We held a discussion with Former CIA and NSA Director, General Michael Hayden and one of America’s top private cyber sleuths, Kevin Mandia, where they shared a real-world evaluation of threats and solutions, plus tips to keep your military family safe.

Check out the discussion and see if you’re doing everything you can to protect your military family.

shannonPosted by Shannon Sebastian, Online Engagement Manager


Add yours
  1. 1

    I’ve got a couple for you.
    With all the interception of email, telecoms, Skype, and chat, by the NSA / GCHQ / the other alphabet soup of WORLD government spooks, how do you know what you send isn’t being used to build a profile of you anyway? After all they know your IP from and to so know your relative locations.
    Besides you’ve always got the “Snowdon scenario” to watch out for haven’t you?

    The bad guys don’t need to hack for the most part. You want to know anything about deployments?
    Just watch the camp stores or commissaries let alone the change in banking behaviors.
    After all you can’t screen everyone!

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