Thursday, May 18, 2023

R-11 Protecting Critical Information (An Intro to OPSEC)

Resistance 11

By Tim Gamble

Reclaiming our privacy isn't about paranoia or becoming a social hermit - its about mindfulness and balance. 

The solution to loss of privacy is to think about what critical information you want to protect, and make a conscious effort to protect it. As part of this, we need to be mindful of what information we are giving away without realizing it. Bad guys notice what you reveal, as do nosy neighbors, woke activists, government bureaucrats, and many others. It is up to you to decide how much is too much to reveal for you and your family.

Identify Critical Information - Answers the questions: What information do we need to protect? What information do we want to keep private? What information could be used against us in some way? 

Examples of potentially critical information include financial information, social security numbers, passwords and PINs, medical information, political and religious affiliation, membership in certain organizations (NRA, GOA, prepper or survivalist groups, etc.), gun ownership, presence of valuable items in the home (guns, gold, silver, cash, tools, electronics, etc.), and purchases of large amounts of food and other supplies. It also may include certain plans (home security measures, personal security measures, when and where we plan to "bug out," etc.). What exactly you consider critical information will depend on your own personal circumstances and concerns.

The first and most important part of protecting your critical information is to make sure that everyone in your family/group understands what information to protect. Share this critical information on a "need to know basis" only. Even within your family/group, not everyone needs to know everything. This doesn't mean that you don't trust your family or group members. Rather, the less people that know something, the less chance of it accidentally being revealed. 

If you have children in your family, you need to talk to them about not sharing certain information with non-family members. Teach them to respond to questions about the family's finances, religion, politics, firearms in the home, parents' jab status or opinions on vaccines, by responding "I don't know," and "You'll have to ask Mommy or Daddy about that." This includes not answering these questions 
from teachers and other authority figures. "I don't know," and "You'll have to ask Mommy or Daddy" are perfectly valid answers for a child to give their teacher. Young children will need to be reminded of this often. Also, be careful about what information you share with and around your children, as they do have ears, and they do repeat things.

This topic broaches on Operational Security (OPSEC), a truly vast topic. OPSEC is a five-step process:
  • Identify Critical Information 
  • Identify Potential Threats
  • Identify Vulnerabilities
  • Assess the Risks
  • Apply Countermeasures
I will cover OPSEC in much more detail in future articles.

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