Top 10 holiday OPSEC tips

| December 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

Information Operations
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Now is the perfect time to refresh your memory about operational security. Here are 10 tips you should follow this holiday season.

1- Be wary of “shoulder surfers”and cellphone cameras when using credit/debit cards. Shield your PIN numbers from view when entering them at the ATM or checkout counter.

2- When paying for items, be mindful not to display large amounts of cash to onlookers. If you’re carrying a large amount of cash, keep a portion of the money separate from your wallet in case you get pickpocketed or lose your wallet.

3- If you bought so many items that you need to drop some off at the car before continuing to shop, make sure you place the items in the trunk and out of sight. It is also a good idea to move your vehicle to another parking spot, away from any onlookers who may have observed you unload your bags.

4- Boxes from expensive gifts such as computers, televisions or game consoles left curbside for trash collection provide potential burglars with good indicators as to what high value items are located in the household. Break down the boxes, throw them in a bag and put them out just before trash collection time.

5- Keep holiday gifts and purchases out of sight, especially when they can be seen from outside of your house. It is preferable to keep presents stored in a closet or other area that is out of sight to others.

6- Consider the gift of a paper shredder in the home this holiday season – shredding documents containing your personal, private or financial information prior to disposing of them is a great way to protect yourself from identify theft.

7- Be cautious of Internet-connected toys and devices around the home. Toys equipped with microphones may record and collect conversations within earshot of the device. The collection of a child’s personal information while initiating accounts (name, date of birth, pictures, address) combined with a toy’s ability to connect to the Internet or other devices creates opportunities for child identity fraud.

8- If you are out shopping or at a holiday party, be careful about using location-based social media sites and applications. Although these tools may help you let family and friends know where you are, they could also be informing strangers and criminals of your location or the fact that your home may be empty.

9- Avoid posting information about your holiday travel plans. Posting travel plans or vacation photos may inadvertently make your home a target for criminals. Wait until you return home to share stories and photos from your holiday travels.

10- Avoid “talking shop” at holiday parties and social gatherings. Be wary of attempts to elicit information about training, equipment or other work-related topics from individuals who do not have a need to know.

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