OPSEC For The Preparedness-Minded

March 11, 2016, by Ken Jorgustin


OPSEC, (operational security) is a process of protecting and safeguarding something – typically information, or things, plans, actions, or accomplishments – from adversaries. In simple terms, it’s keeping ‘it’ secret…

The notion of OPSEC is often referenced in context with various aspects of preparedness – for someone who is preparedness-minded.

Why? Because most people (unfortunately) do not understand the rationale of being preparedness-minded, and they may label you as a kook, think you’re a hoarder, or something else… hence the notion of OPSEC (keeping it to yourself).

For example, if you have (‘x’- months) of stored food at home, it’s good OPSEC to keep it quiet… Why? Because it’s more (stored food) than what most people would consider to be ‘normal’. While it is sad to consider that this is the way it is today, it’s probably best to keep these things to yourself. Ask yourself “What good will it do if others know that I have ‘x’ months of extra food at home?”, and you will discover that in many or most cases the answer will be that there’s no benefit at all. Rather though, that knowledge (of others) may actually increase your risk.

“Sharing” focuses attention on YOU and WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
Remember the old saying “Loose lips sink ships”?

Even though others discovering this information (that you’re preparedness-minded) may not matter much during ‘normal’ times (except for you becoming stereotypical labeled), there are reasons such that you will be better off implementing OPSEC during your conversations and interactions with others.

Above, I used the example of food storage with regards to OPSEC, but it should also apply to all else that may be considered to be outside the ‘normal’ in today’s mainstream.

Humans observe other humans and their actions, and many of the observations are simply casual and inconsequential. However, generally speaking, the human is very good at detecting things that are out of their ‘normal’. When you say or do something that is outside of their ‘normal’, then you stand out – and they notice it. Some disregard it, while others will remember it and take note for future reference…

The thing is, humans (especially during a long lasting time of desperation) can be deadly predators…

Unfortunately, being a preparedness-minded is still considered outside the “norm” for most people today. While there have been gains in this area, especially given today’s uncertain times as more people recognize them, unfortunately most people still just don’t see it. Therefore, most preppers should implement OPSEC in order to maintain a low profile and not attract undue attention or notation.

Just remember this: If others choose to disregard the notion of preparedness as an insurance policy for life and survival, their rejection is not your issue. OPSEC.

Someone previously commented here on MSB the following, which applies to this discussion:

By far the primary component of OPSEC is control of potential flow of verbal information.

Most people simply NEED to talk.

Given it serves so many natural and programmed psychological needs, it is the primary driver of modern evolution and has become the cornerstone of social survival. It is essential OPSEC to STFU. You cannot control other people running their mouth, but you absolutely can control the content. Choose very wisely if at all.

Whether we realize it or not, living through every day requires substantial survival skill. To what degree we survive requires in-depth understanding of the calculus of human interaction. Being such a highly complex subject, a quick summary of this dynamic is probably best. By not talking about yourself you are in control and invariably strengthens your carefully crafted position. Talking makes your own thoughts and actions the objective of others in numerous respects. If there is nothing to focus on, no substantive objective can be formed. Choose what you want others to think in regard to yourself very carefully. Mastering controlled perception is one of the most valuable of skills a person can possess.

Care to add to the discussion of OPSEC?