The Army has issued a worldwide urgent “security awareness message” to soldiers on how to protect their social media accounts, and their homes, from attacks by the Islamic State terrorists or other extremists.
The message lists more than a dozen safety steps, including to make sure personnel check the door peephole before letting someone in their homes, to fortify doors, to hold family meetings on security and to greatly tone down social media postings so that terrorists do not know personal connections or daily comings and goings.
The Army issued the warning Friday in reaction to the Islamic State, also called ISIL and ISIS, publishing the names of 100 U.S. military personnel as targets for assassination.
The message said that Islamist State hackers division procured the names and addresses by sifting through social media — presumably Facebook and Twitter — and finding professional and personal connections among users.
“It appears the list specifically targeted military members who are pilots or aircraft crew members in retaliation for airstrike in Iraq and Syria,” the Army message said, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times.
This appears to be the most extensive security warning to date from the Defense Department, a sign that it takes the Islamic State’s threat to its personnel extremely seriously.
“The message emphasizes actions that can be taken to mitigate potential threats from additional disclosures and avoid potentially being targeted,” it states. “It is likely that social media will continue to be leveraged as a tool by those who wish to threaten and/or target members or the military. Therefore service members and their families are reminded and encouraged to practice safe social media activities.”
Among the precautions:
⦁ “Think before you post. Always assume everyone in the world will be able to see what you are posting or Tweeting, even if the site limits your posts to your friends and family.”
⦁ Do not allow others to “tag” your sites. “Doing so makes you easier to locate and accurately construct your network of friends.”
⦁ “Images posted over time may form a complete mosaic of you and your family.”
⦁ “Avoid providing detailed accounts of your day” and limit references to military employment.
⦁ “Do not arrange meetings with people you meet online.”
And at home:
⦁ “Use the peephole before opening the door to any one.”
⦁ “Install solid-core doors, heavy duty locks and window security systems.”
⦁ “Establish a safe haven.”