During the holiday season (or any other season), there are actions everyone can take to limit their potential for being targeted by adversaries.
Here are some easy-to-follow personal security measures to remember and employ:
- Remove license plate holders, stickers and other visual items on your vehicle that may affiliate you or family members with the military, government or law enforcement.
- Consider manner of dress when out in public, to include shirts, hats, jackets, etc. that reference military, government or law enforcement affiliation.
- Review at Level I training available to all service members and their Families at the Joint Knowledge Online website, https://jkodirect.jten.mil, Course Number JS-US008-14.
- Avoid large gatherings or demonstrations. If you come upon a demonstration, remain calm and disengage from the situation. Avoid speaking loudly.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Stay away from high-risk areas.
- Monitor the news for updated information.
- Travel in small groups (never alone) and vary movements.
- Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Try to be inconspicuous. Do not draw attention to yourself.
- If there is an incident at your destination or any location on your itinerary, inform your unit of your status as soon as possible.
- Carry a mobile phone if possible and have emergency numbers handy (pre-programmed in phone): The emergency number for German Police is 112.
Family members and family readiness groups can access supporting antiterrorism awareness information, products and tools via the AOS homepage: www.myarmyonesource.com/default.aspx by clicking on the iWatch Army logo at the bottom of the page; this will direct individuals to the AOS Army iWatch website, www.armyonesource.com/familyprogramsandservices/iwatchprogram/default.aspx, on AOS, which is available to the entire Army community. It includes all the iWatch Army products, as well as a broad set of general awareness products and information to include social media precautions.
Travel plans with DOS Online via the step website at https://step.state.gov/step. This free service permits a traveler to enter information about their upcoming trip abroad so the traveler can better receive updates on travel warnings, travel alerts and other information for a particular country.
You can obtain up-to-date information on overseas security conditions from the DOS by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 elsewhere in the world, or at their website at http://travel.state.gov/.
Department of State travel alerts, generally short-term in nature, are issued because of situations such as demonstrations, health alerts and evidence of an elevated risk of terrorist attacks or other short-term conditions that may pose significant risks to the security of travelers.
Travel alerts are milder than travel warnings, in which the State Department recommends personnel avoid travel to a country because of its long-term instability. Examples of reasons for issuing a travel warning might include unstable government, civil war or frequent terrorist attacks. Country-specific travel alerts and warnings are available to personnel at: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html.
Social media tips
- Think before you post; assume others can see your post.
- Review privacy settings.
- Avoid posting personal information and location.
- Never allow applications to initiate geolocation.
- Limit references to military, law enforcement or government affiliation.