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  • 1. OPSEC/PERSEC • Operations security, more commonly known as OPSEC, is an aspect of counter-intelligence that focuses on preventing adversaries from gaining access to information and actions that may compromise an operation. • Personal security, more commonly known as PERSEC, is an aspect of guarding your personal information.
  • 2. How OPSEC affects you: • By being careful about how you and your family communicate and act, you can prevent vital information from reaching the hands of an adversary - whether it's an enemy of the United States or a cat burglar in your neighborhood
  • 3. Prevention • When a family member deploys, it's important to continue your usual routines and maintenance of your home to disguise the absence of your service member. Maintain the lawn and keep your service member's car in the driveway, or its usual spot, to give the appearance that someone else is home. • As much as you want to display your patriotism and support for your deployed loved one, tying yellow ribbons around the trees out front might not be the best idea. The sudden appearance of yellow ribbons or similar patriotic displays can signal that someone in the home is deployed, making your home vulnerable to intruders or scams.
  • 4. Communication Do’s • The best thing that family members can do for deployed loved ones is keep the lines of communication open. Whether by phone, email, video chat or letters, letting your deployed loved ones know that they're still on your mind can build moral and help pass the time overseas.
  • 5. Communication Don’ts • Whenever communicating with your loved one, never disclose the following: o The mission of your service member's unit or the number of service members assigned to it o Deployment times and locations o Port call dates o Special shore deployments o Unit morale or personnel issues o Troop movement o Military intentions, capabilities or operations o Your family's location during the deployment o Your service member's scheduled return date ***Your deployed loved one should also avoid these topics in return letters or emails. It can be frustrating to not receive any specific information about your service member's location or return dates, but it's for the safety of everyone involved.
  • 6. Social Media • The Internet makes it easier than ever to inform the world of your every move with just a tap of your finger. While it may seem obvious that you shouldn't publicly offer up information about your family member's unit, location or deployment and return dates, sometimes the line between public and private information becomes clouded on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter or your personal blog. • Remember that anything you post or comment on is out there for the world to read. It's important for your safety and that of your deployed loved one that you avoid posting anything that advertises that your loved one is deployed or that you're alone. If you mention the deployment, refrain from using specific dates and identifying information no matter how insignificant it may seem.
  • 7. Social Media • In general, it is good practice to make sure that you have enabled security settings on your social media pages. Enabling security settings lets you control who sees your page, reads your posts and clicks through your pictures. Even if you've enabled security settings on your page, remember that not everyone has. Commenting on another person's pictures or posts with information about a deployment can also jeopardize operations security. • Media outlets keep everyone informed and keep you connected to your deployed loved one, but consider OPSEC before making a statement or posting an update or blog entry. Use media to its full advantage, but just be conscious of what you share with the world!
  • 8. Stranger Danger • We have either heard this as a child or teach our children this; however, it is also important for us to adhere to as well. • If you ever return home, even from a quick trip to the market, to find a door or window ajar, do not go in alone. It may be easy to convince yourself that you forgot to lock up, and while that may be true, it's better to err on the side of caution when your family's safety is at risk. Call the police if you notice anything suspicious and wait for their arrival before you try to venture into your house. Similarly, if you're home and you catch a glimpse of someone lurking around your property or staring into your window, keep calm and call the police as soon as you possibly can without drawing attention to yourself.
  • 9. Strangers • You know to be cautious when strangers come to your home, but there are 101 reasons why people ring your doorbell. On any given day you may open your door for a pizza delivery boy, appliance repairman, parcel delivery service, door to door salesman or the kid from next door whose ball landed in your backyard. Before you unlock the door, take a minute to think about if you're expecting anyone. Use your peephole or window to help identify the person at your door, and don't be afraid to ask the individual to identify him or herself before deciding whether or not to open the door.
  • 10. SCAMS • With all the scams around these days, you should never give out personal information over the phone. As good OPSEC practice, always give the impression that you are not home alone and never reveal that your service member is deployed. Don't be afraid of seeming rude. Any stranger, over the phone or in person, who genuinely has good intentions, should understand your desire to protect your family.
  • 11. Safety • While away from home, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting from point A to point B. Unfortunately, criminals can use your distraction against you, so no matter how hectic things are, remember that you're never too busy to be conscious of what you say and where you are. o Never discuss details of a deployment in public. This includes volunteering information through your cell phone while in a public place. Just because you aren't talking directly to someone else in the store or parking lot, it doesn't mean that no one is listening. o Stay alert. Be extra careful when traveling alone, and try to avoid doing so as often as possible. Exercise caution when returning to your car. Always have your keys in hand to avoid lingering while you sift through your purse or pockets. Don't attempt to enter your vehicle if you ever notice someone lingering near your car or peering in the windows, and get in the habit of locking your car doors and taking a quick glance through the windows of your car before climbing in. o Watch for suspicious activity. If you ever get the feeling that you're being followed while on foot, turn around and begin walking in the other direction. Try to walk back towards people or a well-lit area. If you're in your car and discover that you're being followed, never drive home. Instead, drive to a populated area or a police station.