OPSEC is an abbreviation for Operations Security.
It can be very important to maintain it. Especially during times like we’re experiencing today.
What is OPSEC? In short, it’s keeping your mouth shut. Keeping certain things, plans, topics, (or whatever) — out of plain sight, or conversation with others. In other words, it’s sort of keeping a secret (about whatever ‘it’ is).
It might be your prepping, preparedness, or security. And potentially MANY other things. Maintaining good OPSEC may be more important than some realize. Especially when it comes to one’s immediate circle of friends (and others) – even those whom you may trust to varying extents.
Read that last line again.
The term “operations security” was coined by the United States military during the Vietnam War.
Identification of Critical information: Critical information is information about friendly intentions, capabilities and activities that allow an adversary to plan effectively to disrupt their operations.
Analysis of Threats: A Threat comes from an adversary – any individual or group that may attempt to disrupt or compromise a friendly activity.
Analysis of Vulnerabilities: Examining each aspect of the planned operation to identify OPSEC indicators that could reveal critical information and then comparing those indicators with the adversary’s intelligence collection capabilities identified in the previous action.
Assessment of Risk: First, planners analyze the vulnerabilities identified in the previous action and identify possible OPSEC measures for each vulnerability. Second, specific OPSEC measures are selected for execution based upon a risk assessment done by the commander and staff.
Application of Appropriate OPSEC Measures: The command implements the OPSEC measures selected in the assessment of risk action or, in the case of planned future operations and activities, includes the measures in specific OPSEC plans.(more)
Although in the context of this post, I’m simply talking about:
OPSEC – Loose Lips Sink Ships
Your immediate circle of friends, family, or acquaintances whom you may trust. Here’s how it could happen…
You mention something to someone in your inner circle. It seemed harmless enough to mention. After all, you trust that person not to blab to the whole world about it, right?.
Well here’s the thing… That other person might not have the same level of OPSEC or concern about that particular nugget of information as you do. That info might inadvertently come out during another ‘harmless’ secondary conversation with someone else from THEIR OWN circle of friends.
So now that information has been revealed – outside your immediate circle. Even if that person who is within the second ring of people is not a blabbermouth, – that person might not realize the OPSEC value of the nugget of information that was casually revealed to them. And then that person might inadvertently (or on purpose?) reveal that information within THEIR OWN own circle (which would now make it three levels away from you).
All it takes is one person to potentially take advantage of that information to ‘ruin your day’ so to speak.
Loose lips sink ships. Ever had that one before?
A Need-To-Know Basis
I am speaking very broadly and generically. But I’m trying to explain how information can spread beyond your circle of trust, even inadvertently.
So how do you maintain good OPSEC? When it comes to certain things that may be better off ‘secret’, then maybe it’s best that you be very careful who you say ‘anything’ to.. if at all.
“Need to know basis”. Who needs to know, if at all.
I’m not presenting a ‘paranoid’ type of suggested behavior. Rather, I am suggesting that some things should be on a ‘need to know’ basis. Only YOU know what those things are.
So not only ‘think’ about what you say before you say it, but ‘think’ about WHO you say it to…
A Changing World
Unfortunately, today’s changing world is flipping some things (views, ideals) what used to be “okay” or acceptable (like patriotism and love-of-country, certain political views, ideals, and/or being preparedness-minded and self-reliant) — to something that’s now considered “bad”, or even criminal! We see it happening all around us. Right now. Very sad.
So, for example, it may not be such a good idea for others to know that you’re “prepared” (to whatever extent). Or to have your extra food storage inventory in plain view. Or having your vehicle plastered with stickers indicating your ideology. I could go on. But you get the idea.
Food for thought.
[ Read: Being Prepared For Unprepared People ]