By Priscilla Rey
USAG Bavaria Public Affairs
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — In a survey conducted last years by the Pew Research Center, Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site. As a member of the military, and for family members of service members, it is more important than ever to remain vigilant of operational security (OPSEC).
Sharing information on your Facebook timeline may seem harmless but can be dangerous to loved ones and fellow Soldiers.
Never accept a friend request from someone you don’t know, even if they know a friend of yours. Don’t share information that you don’t want to become public. Someone might target you for working in the DOD, so be cautious when listing your job, military organization, education and contact information. Providing too much information in your profile can leave you exposed to people who want to steal your identity or sensitive operational information.
Understanding what you can and cannot post on Facebook goes a long way in protecting yourself online, but more can be done by adjusting your privacy settings.
There are a lot of ways to protect your privacy on Facebook and a lot of people are not aware that most information is available for everyone. We did some research on how to set your settings into the highest security level.
Here to set the highest security settings on your Facebook profile.
CHOOSE WHO CAN VIEW YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS.
(1) Log into Facebook. Go to Settings, Privacy.
(2) There you have three subjects: ‘Who can see my stuff?’, ‘Who can contact me?’, and ‘Who can look me up?’
(3) To maximize the security on your page, choose ‘Only me’ or ‘Only friends’. This prevents other people to see stuff that you post.
(4) Under ‘Who can look me up?’, Facebook will ask, “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?” Do not let other search engines link to your timeline.
MAXIMIZE PRIVACY OF YOUR TIMELINE AND PREVENT TAGGING.
(1) When you post pictures on your timeline you can change the settings on who can see, comment or add things to it. You can also determine who is allowed to post stuff on your timeline.
(2) Log into Facebook. Go to Settings, Timeline and Tagging.
(3) There you have three subjects: ‘Who can add things to my timeline?’, ‘Who can see things on my timeline?’, and ‘How can I manage tags people add, and tagging suggestions?’.
(4) The best thing to do is to make this public to just you or your friends only. Don’t have friends of friends put stuff or comments on your pictures and keep this as private as you can.
(5) When you’re “tagged” in a post, it means that someone has created a link to your profile. You can turn on Tag Review to review tags friends add to your content before they appear on Facebook. In the ‘How can I manage tags people add and tagging suggestions?’ section, click edit and click the disabled button and change its setting to enabled.
PREVENT OTHERS FROM COMMENTING ON YOUR PROFILE PICTURE.
(1) A new update to Facebook allows you to change the size of your profile picture. It also allows you to make the picture private and unclickable.
(2) Through Photoshop, Microsoft paint or any other photo editing software, you can change the size to 180 x 180 pixels. This will make it a square image and smaller. Save this and use this one as your profile picture on Facebook.
(3) Then, click on your profile picture. You will see a new edit button.
(4) Click on the ‘Public’ dropdown menu and select ‘Only Me’.
STOP FACEBOOK FROM SHARING YOUR LOCATION.
(1) Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification to photographs, videos, websites and SMS messages. It is the equivalent of adding a 10-digit grid coordinate to everything posted on the Internet. You can prevent Facebook from sharing your location.
(2) Geotagging is typically done automatically on your tablet or mobile phone. When you first installed Facebook on your tablet or mobile phone, it probably asked for permission to use your phone’s location services so that it could provide you with the ability to “check-in” at different locations and tag photos with location information. Revoke this permission in your phone’s location services settings area.
(3) There are also apps to strip your geolocation. Koredoko, deGeo (iPhone) or Photo Privacy Editor (Android) are just a few.
(4) If you post to Facebook, you may see a light-gray location description in the lower left of the status box. Always check to see if the location is posted. If it is, remove it. Simply hover your cursor or finger over the location and click the X.
The Army’s Social Media Handbook provides great information on safe networking and how to register your unit site. It also gives you guidance on Army branding standards and provides Facebook reference guides. It’s available at www.us.army.mil/suite/doc/43167236 (AKO login required) or www.slideshare.net/usarmysocialmedia (login blocked on government computers).
Always remember: Think before you post. Stay safe.
August is Antiterrorism Awareness month. Our goal is to provide you real-world information to protect you. Staff writer Priscilla Rey knows a thing or two about Facebook and has just published an article on how to protect you and your family on Facebook. Read, share and protect yourself.