HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --
Technology can be an incredible asset to the modern U.S. Air Force Reserve. Yet, despite the benefits, there are inherent risks that require mitigation. To curtail these threats, members of the 419th Fighter Wing received training, Jan. 8-9, 2023, on how to protect themselves and their families while using digital platforms.
“As we enter a new age of technology and warfare,” said SSgt Devin Baker, a cyber transport technician with the 419th FW, “warfare is going to be this electronic, information warfare. Personnel anywhere are a target, and it’s as simple as downloading an app.”
SSgt Baker worked with 419th FW leadership to host a workshop presented by the 426th Network Warfare Squadron so reservists and their families could better understand these developing threats.
With nearly 85% of the U.S. population logging onto the internet daily, Airmen must become hardened against digital threats to preserve force readiness.
Presenters from the 426th NWS explained the importance of the Digital Force Protection program and educated Airmen on the vulnerabilities inherent in digital information.
“Good digital hygiene requires us to think about our digital footprint,” said Col. Matthew M. Fritz, commander of the 419th FW. “As citizen Airmen, we need to be aware of these threats by including our families in these discussions on online safety.”
Navigating new technologies requires users to develop a deeper understanding of how applications work. For instance, the creation of an online account requires users to provide personal details such as name, birthdate, and location. This information is often used for advertisers but can also be exploited by malicious third parties.
For helpful insights on online safety, readers can visit https://www.soc.mil/IdM/publications/IdMpubs.html to improve their digital hygiene.
A second option, available to Citizen Airmen, is to install the Air Force Connect app by visiting their device’s app store and searching for “Air Force Connect.” Once connected, the following steps can be taken:
- Open the favorites tab in the lower right-hand corner
- Search for “Air Force Reserve Command”
- Click the add button
- Exit out of the favorites tab and swipe left from the USAF Connect home screen to navigate to the AFRC homepage
- Click on the DRL button
- Click on the Digital Force Protection button for educational materials
The 419th FW is home to nearly 1,200 reservists who work one weekend a month and two weeks a year and must maintain the same level of efficiency as their active-duty counterparts.