Q. Should I stop using social media? Can I order my subordinates to stop using it?
A. The very nature of our service means that military members face a special risk. But its critical to responsibly and carefully weigh the circumstances. Recent cases of individuals being singled out on social media involved service members who were posting military information about current operations on their personal pages. Social media engagement is an individual decision; there is no blanket prohibition against it. Concerned leaders should talk to their legal office about options, but remember informed decisions require education about the facts and careful review of recommendations on how to protect social media accounts.
Q. Am I allowed to share information about the Air Force on my social media accounts?
A. Yes. Assess the risk and if you choose to engage, do so safely and within Air Force and DoD guidelines. In particular, military information about current operations has brought attention and on-line threats to a few of our Airmen. Think about what you are posting and, as always, ensure the information you're posting is cleared for release and appropriate. Be cautious with information you may have access to that is sensitive and should always follow established release protocols - such as if a unit member is injured, killed or missing. And for all posts, employ common sense by considering how information could be used. If you post that your family is on vacation, for example, that signals that your house is vacant.
Q. What things should I avoid posting?
A. - Classified information
- Specific unit movement information
- If and when a family is going on vacation or leaving the house vacant
- Gossip and anything that may be considered offensive
- Any information that would infringe upon the personal rights of others
- Information concerning personnel missing or killed in action prior to release by DOD
- Anything that would discredit the Armed Forces
Q. What things should I post?
A. - Pride and support for service, units, specialties and other Service members
- General statements about service or duty
- Corrections to misrepresentations made about the military - remember to do so respectfully and accurately
Q. If I delete my social media profiles, will I be safe?
A. Unfortunately, no. Whatever you share on social media is permanent. If you do not want the world to know, then you should not post it. Something posted five years ago can resurface at any time, even if it was just a 'younger, dumber you.'"
Q. What can I do to protect myself on social media?
A. Refrain from tagging or posting your specific location. Know and manage your 'friend' or 'follower' list closely. Use strong passwords. Keep your personal information private and review any posts you are tagged in prior to them