Defence families have been in the online communications game for a long time.
It’s the way we keep in touch with our ADF members, families and friends. From Skyping, Facetiming, Whatsapping, we are all over it.
The pandemic has brought even more reliance on communicating online. Our loved ones really do live in our phones.
Cyberspace is a big place and you don’t always know who is watching what you post online. If you post something military-specific, that information could be used with other gathered data to possibly harm operations, members and potentially families.
Pictures posted to private chats are frequently re-posted to less private areas of the internet no matter what your privacy settings are – you can never be certain where your personal pictures or information will end up and who will end up using it. If it’s not safe to be published anywhere, it’s not safe to be published at all.
The ADF has its own set of directives for ADF members on what they can and can’t post.In the Absence from Home Support booklet from Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS – formerly DCO)
If using social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, keep in mind not to share sensitive or indecent material as posted material becomes part of a public forum and leaves your control. Do not post anything that could compromise operational security, including the ADF member’s geographical location.
Here are some more tips from us.
- Don’t post information about deployments, like dates and locations.
- Don’t post about specific units, operations etc.
- Don’t post addresses of DHA or RA homes, even in closed Facebook groups.
- Don’t post count down tickers on social media.
- Be careful when posting photos of the member in uniform (particularly name, rank and other identifying badges or patches).
- Get to know your privacy settings on social media apps. How many people can see what you are posting?
- Use ForceNet for families. www.forcenet.gov.au, a secure communications tool for the latest news direct from Defence.
- Information about what your family member knows or has access to, particularly if it’s sensitive or classified, can make your family member a target.
- Information about lifestyle risks, such as excessive alcohol use or problem gambling, can be used to manipulate people. Defence has support and resources to help your family with these problems without risking the member’s livelihood.
- The whole point of OPSEC is to keep you and your family member safe
It’s an old saying but it is much better to be safe than to be sorry when it comes to OPSEC (Operational Security) online for ADF families.
Defence families and friends, we encourage you to talk to each other and reach out for support wherever needed for your current or former serving ADF member, or for yourselves.
Defence Member & Family Helpline (DMFS) – 1800 624 608
Open Arms – 1800 011 046
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
To contact a Chaplain, please call the Defence Service Centre on 1800 333 362