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Social Media: The Fastest Growing Vulnerability to the Air Force Mission


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Social media is the fastest growing vulnerability to the military mission and the personal security of all Airmen. On 30 November 2014, the FBI issued warning to members of the US military and requested that they review their social media presence for any information like names and addresses that might attract the attention of violent ISIS extremists. Over the past decade, the convergence of mobile broadband devices has enabled social media to become more and more integrated into our everyday lives. The inherent risks and vulnerabilities of the internet and social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter along with the Air Forces endorsement to actively use social media, has cultivated a rich and ripe environment for foreign adversaries and criminals to cherry-pick personal information about Airmen and their missions for nefarious activities. To help Americans understand the risks that come with being online, the Department of Homeland Security launched a new cybersecurity awareness campaign: Stop, Think, and Connect. To educate Airmen on social media, AF public affairs created the "Air Force Social Media Guide" in 2013 to encourage Airmen to share their AF experiences with family and friends in the social media environment. However, this is counter to the FBI's guidance that promotes the reduction of users' on-line footprint and online presence in cyberspace.



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