Security Awareness Week

Security Awareness Week 2024

Sgt Paul Hare, 
Security Section/Evidence/Property, MPU Esquimalt


Greetings, fellow members of CFB Esquimalt! The time of year has rolled around again when we discuss, emphasize, and pay attention to security and its relevant matters during Security Awareness Week February 5–9.

Although great focus is paid to these features throughout this week, security awareness is, in fact, a mentality necessary throughout all 52 weeks of the year. It should be treated as something other than a cursory topic during a particular period, only to be neglected during the remainder of the year. It behooves us as members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and integral parts of the Defence Team, to maintain constant vigilance, which is why this year’s theme is ‘Security beyond the Office’.

Let’s look at some common issues and examples of measures members can take to mitigate these concerns.

Security of Personal Identification

One area of vulnerability is the loss or compromise of your personal or military identification. This can occur during commercial air travel while producing your photo ID during check-in for your flight, passing through security, or boarding your flight at the Gate. Annoying as it ca be, offering proof of ID at many different points, this process is not as annoying as the realization you’ve misplaced or lost your ID upon reaching your destination. While travelling, do the wise thing and ensure you promptly secure your IDs after passing through security, not in the overhead bins, but in their appropriate place within your wallets and purses.

Another time when military IDs become vulnerable is while CAF members explore the many parks and trails in B.C. These are ideal for accommodating the physically-minded lifestyle, but many of you run and bike on these trails with your IDs without a wallet. Should you conduct your outdoor activities in the glorious splendour of our beautiful province with loose ID cards, ensure they are secured within a deep pocket or one with a zipper; otherwise, you may really get your steps in while retracing the route looking for your ID.

Personal Financial Security

We are all familiar with the risks of not providing due care (such as protecting our PIN codes) when using debit cards at commercial outlets and ATMs. Many of you know of the malicious and currently aggressive phone and internet scams fraudulently reporting unusual Amazon or credit card purchases to obtain and confirm your personal and banking information. These types of phishing scams are far less successful and are easily avoided by the informed public.

However, a newly emerging scam is finding greater success by taking advantage of the more impulsive investor who may be guided by the social anxiety known as the ‘fear of missing out’. These new scams prey on the current trend of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, promising potential investors lucrative returns and dividends only for those same individuals to have no means of withdrawing or accessing their investments. Victims have found their portfolio holder and the fund portal suddenly closed and is no longer accessible or responsive, and their investment capital is gone. Ensure you engage in investing and banking through reputable and well-known institutions so that you do not find yourself a victim.

Following these simple but important suggestions and strategies will enable you to protect yourself and improve the security of personal and professional information.

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