Praying for our service men, women and their families.
Protecting Our Troops on Social Media
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Instructor with Edward Waters College
Parent, Blogger, Educator, Speaker
Recent threats by ISIS and other terrorists groups highlights
the inherent dangers of posting content on Social Media
platforms that others can track and monitor. Having a digital
presence and exposure provides notoriety, but exposes people
to unintended dangers.
When accessing the Internet there is a digital bridge that is
created. That bridge is a two (2) way bridge of informational
sharing. The uniqueness is this bridge has unintentional
consequences. Content online is not just local or regional it
can be accessed by anyone that has an Internet connection
and associated browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome,
Because of the digital age of information now is the time to
teach “digital citizenship,” how to conduct yourself online,
protect your identity and be proactive in security measures.
ISIS and other terrorist groups are recruiting teens and young
adults to their radical thinking, their strategy is to use digital
platforms and tools to threaten service men and women and
even their families. Terrorism has grown on our homeland and
accessing our digital platforms to frighten, coerce and create
an atmosphere of fear.
Social media is more than just being “social” there is a dynamic
interaction of posting the events of our lives and that of family
and friends. Humans are social creatures so we have our lives,
experiences, emotions and knowledge online. The explosion
of Social Media has created a new set of problems and liabilities
even seen in the movies like “Captain America: The Winter
Solider” where an algorithm was created to track and predetermine
a persons future. This information although from a movie can be
a data gathering element with great facts as to a person’s
potential and future. This information is science fact not
science fiction any more.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine,
YouTube and others cannot be totally trusted or confidential
because of the potential that personal information may be used
to stalk, harm and even kill.
As digital citizens we may be our own worst enemy by putting
personal information online and allowing GPS tracking to document
our location, time and proximity to places and people.
Military personnel must be careful with security settings, GPS
stamps, photos, videos that show neighborhoods, schools their
children attend or daycares. Caution should be used for checkins,
proximity, meetups, Apps to see where family and friends are.
Minimizing risks are common sense judgments and making sure
when using Social Media platforms and tools monitor privacy ,
unfriend or hide yourself from people no longer in your network
or profession. Do not accept friend requests from overseas or
people you don’t know. Even if they say they are in the military is
this true or is “Catfishing,” faking an identity from a false accounts
Do not open every email or download every attachment, emails
can contain spyware, malware and viruses that infect your digital
device and even spread to others.
The uniqueness of military personnel and diverse mission driven
assignments makes military personnel targets so their children and
family members must also be taught how to conduct themselves
online. Military parents must be diligent and aware not just of their
physical surroundings, but of their digital surroundings.
Military personnel should Google themselves and family to see what
content is connected to them. I often get criticized about this, my
thinking is to be proactive about digital content not reactive.
Goggling text, photos, videos, tweets and other dynamic Social Media
elements. Protecting our nation is vital, but those in service to protect
us should be protected themselves and their families while at home
There are known terrorist groups in our nation, people traveling
overseas to fight in conflicts which draw our country closer to potential
conflicts that may threaten non-combatant family members here
worrying about their family members fighting on foreign lands.
Social Media education is important to safe guard against potential
security and safety issues. Many schools are now teaching Social Media
Awareness, this needs to grow and be a mission in and of itself to keep
our military families and their children safe. We now digitally have to
keep our service men and women safe from digital attacks.
William Jackson, M.Edu
Previous Speaker at:
Preventing Crime in the Black Community
Learn2Earn Experience Jacksonville, Florida via Thy Black Man
Speaker at the Upcoming:
42nd Annual Southeastern Lectureship
“Social Media SWAG and Ministry”
One Church Conference
Social Media Safety
“Your SWAG On Social Media”