Tag Archives: communications

Safeguarding PII is everyone’s responsibility

by Lt. Col. Corey Ramsby
375th Communications Squadron commander

140106-F-XX000-011What is Personally Identifiable Information, or PII? It is information about an individual that identifies or describes them their social security number, age, rank, marital status, race, office and personal phone numbers and other demographic, biometric, personnel, medical and financial information.

The release of PII to unauthorized individuals places total force Airmen at risk for identity theft and potential cyber crimes. This can also threaten the operational integrity of our government networks through phishing schemes and other malicious activity. The SSN is the one of the most misused pieces of personal information, and as with all PII, it should be properly protected and shared when necessary.

As a result of the increasing personal and government risks, senior leaders in the Air Force are engaging on the issue. Undersecretary of the Air Force John Fanning said in a recent memo that “Safeguarding PII is everyone’s responsibility. We must have zero tolerance for failing to adhere to Air Force policies and guidance.” I echo the undersecretary’s call for greater diligence in managing PII, and expect all Airmen to understand PII requirements and comply with standards for protecting PII across the service.

One of the most prevalent ways a PII breach occurs is through the use of email. Sending PII to a personal e-mail account is strictly prohibited. All emails containing PII or other sensitive information must be encrypted. When encryption is not used, there’s always the potential for compromise and possible targeting by hackers and identity thieves. The unnecessary compromise of PII exposes risk to individuals and the Air Force.

To help enforce PII rules, 24th Air Force communications specialists monitor e-mail being sent from .mil to .com accounts. When violations are discovered, government accounts are locked until members are retrained and have a reactivation request signed by the first O-6 in their chain of command.

Unfortunately, individual monitoring and other automated tools alone can’t prevent PII breaches. It is our shared responsibility to protect each other’s information. If you have any questions or need to report suspected loss, theft or compromise of PII, immediately contact your unit privacy act monitor and wing privacy act manager.

Week in Photos, July 20, 2012

By Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

This Week in Photos, we have some aircract, a missle and some players from the USA Olympic Basketball Team.

Photo: A C-17 Globemaster III with the 15th Airlift Squadron, pulls away from behind a KC-135 Stratotanker with the 756th Air Refueling Squadron, during exercise Global Eagles, after receiving fuel off the east coast of Florida on July 12, 2012. The C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases throughout the world. It can also perform tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock)

Week in photos, Feb. 3, 2012

 U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules cargo aircraft By Airman 1st Class Krystal Tomlin
U.S. Air Force Public Affairs

With a wing span a great as four F-16s the C-130 is a massive aircraft. To see such a huge piece of equipment take-off is a mesmerizing site. In this photo the Hercules soars above the cloud deck followed by the smoke of flares swirling in a frenzy of displaced air.

This photo says “The sky is the limit and the U.S. Air Force goes beyond that.” Whether we’re bringing troops and supplies into a hostile area or aid to a disaster torn nation, the Air Force gets the job done.

Jump on over to our Flickr site to see more examples of awesome airpower in our most recent Air Force Week in Photos set.

Photo: A U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules cargo aircraft from the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, conducts flare training off the Ventura County coast Jan. 10, 2012. The flares are used as tactical infrared countermeasures to confuse and redirect heat-seeking missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner)