Protect yourself, family from terrorist threats online

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Deployed Airmen and their families were recently threatened directly by terrorist organizations online with information gathered from social media accounts.

Thankfully, despite the aggressive nature of these virtual threats, none have developed into actual physical attacks on our Airmen or their families.

The Air Force's social media team provides guidance for responsible social media use via annual updates to the Air Force Social Media Guide, posts to the Air Force Live blog and articles uploaded to AF.mil.

Unfortunately, it seems people just don't want to spend the relatively short amount of time it takes to limit the amount of personal information they release via social sites, apps and photos.

It is extremely important for every Eielson Airman, civilian employee, family member and retiree to take active steps to avoid becoming an easy target for virtual harassment and attacks by terrorist groups.

Some of you might be unfamiliar with how to limit outside access to social media accounts, so step-by-step instructions are available on the library tab of the Eielson website. Social media smart cards are available for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

You can also check out a useful blog with embedded video on how to secure other aspects of your digital footprint. Be sure to visit the links to other social media resources at the end of the post for more tips to protect your information online.

It's time to take operational security via social media sites seriously - terrorists have already shown they aren't afraid to directly threaten families with information gathered on loosely protected social media profiles. I personally know one of these families and the experience they went through isn't something I want to see repeated with any other Air Force family.

Take a few minutes to limit access to your personal information online - it can prevent stress for deployed Airmen and their family members back home, reduce identity theft vulnerability and help protect our wingmen.