Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I felt it was my obligation to do a short post on operational security or OPSEC. In a nut shell it is how secure you, your stuff, and even information about you is. You should always maintain some degree of OPSEC, enough to maintain safety and security, but not so ridiculous that when your aunt asks what you named your newborn child you don't reply, "Sorry ma'am that is classified."

The simple fact that may seem obvious to some, is that the more your enemy, whomever that is, knows about you...the easier it is for them to compromise your situation.

Some critical parts of OPSEC are simply maintaining a low profile so to speak, never divulging information like you phone number, address, social security number, health issues, security situation (weapons, alarms, deterrents). One key way to do this is to adopt a moniker as most bloggers in this area have. There have been many instances where I specifically have been lax but I do try. Let's face it is easier to maintain OPSEC if you don't do something like write a blog on a daily basis.

Some simple things you can do to maintain OPSEC are:

1.) Get an unpublished phone number

2.) Never give out your address; this can be accomplished by getting a PO Box.

3.) Never talk about your survival preps with anyone you don't explicitly trust.

4.) Never talk about your protective/defensive measures (such as weapons, ammunition, etc.)

5.) Always try and maintain a low profile, don't be boisterous, flashy, etc.

6.) Blend in with the community - everyone remembers the guy who lives in small town USA and has a Mohawk and cross dresses.

7.) Have throw away email accounts and use them with everyone you don't trust.

8.) Never give your social security number out to anyone.

9.) Never talk about your finances to anyone.

10.) Never tell anyone your plans, except with those you absolutely trust.

BONUS - Never take what the government says at face value - there is ALWAYS and ulterior motive.

OPSEC should be a part of your overall plan to keep yourself, your family, and your resources safe when the situation deteriorates and dictates action.

Let me know some of your suggestions for maintaining OPSEC.

...that is all.

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  1. I take this very seriously, so I'll refrain from my usual sarcasm this time...

    Here are a few that are so obvious to you that you probably forgot them completely:

    1) Make sure your computer is protected from viruses, bots, spy-ware, AND physical (in person) intrusion - most people only worry about viruses.

    2) Either go digital with your bills shred your bills (and anything else with important info on it) before you throw them out.

    Some not so obvious ones:

    1) Double-check for the security indicator on your browser before making online purchases.

    2) Use encryption on important files.

    3) Don't put "my child is a..." stickers on your vehicle....predators use that information against kids.

    4) Never leave home without your invisibility cloak....sorry, I couldn't resist. It's a disease really.

  2. Excellent additions James. I wasn't even thinking of computers when I wrote this post...ironic since I work with them all day.

    Spyware/virus/SPAM/etc is one quick way to having OPSEC compromised.

    I REALLY like the "child/baby/etc on board", that is something I wouldn't have thought of because I am not a parent yet...good addition as well.

  3. Excellent post and I'm signing up to follow this blog. Good to find another person doing the shout outs needed in these most Big Brother is watching you of times. I'm commenting under my real name cuz I do trust you and your concerned voice of reason.

    Marvin D Wilson

  4. My fave: never trust someone who says, "I'm from the gov't and I'm here to help".
    Shy III

  5. Shy,

    Agree 100% that is why I specifically call that one out in my bonus tip.


  6. More suggestions ...

    1) Never use your real credit card online, use/buy those visa/mastercard 'gift' cards instead.

    1b) Also, while your at it, use a "Pen Name" on those gift cards when you register them.

    2) Use a "Pay as you go" cell phone, register it under a pen name as well.

    As for encryption in your suggestions, make sure it is double keyed, or they can be cracked. see www.gnupg.org, I would also suggest using onion proxies as well, see www.torproject.org


  7. Transact and TRY to get paid in cash. Don't own property (you can have a vehicle or home owned by a trust/LLC etc.) Don't use a bank, if so, not under an account in your name or with your SSN.

    ALWAYS try to keep your full name from being associated with the address of where you usually sleep at night.