When you think of your assets, you no doubt think of tangible things like your home, money in the bank, food in your survival pantry, and so on. But what about intangible assets like your personal privacy?
Riverwalker touched on this in a blog post entitled Stealth Security – OPSEC Guidelines for Preppers – Simplicity, Secrecy and Sustainability. It raises such important considerations that I wanted to share it with you. At first I thought about asking him if I could reproduce it here because I’ve done that occasionally with other posts he’s written.
Then I decided it would be even better if you could hear him talk about OPSEC more in depth on DestinySurvival Radio. Though it took more pre-arranging than usual, he was my guest on this week’s show.
OPSEC is an unfamiliar term for those of us who haven’t been in the military or aren’t in law enforcement. It stands for “operational security.” It refers to the idea of keeping critical information from getting to the wrong person.
In other words, you don’t want everybody to know everything you and your family are doing to be prepared for survival. And that means protecting your privacy.
Whether you realize it or not, privacy is one of your most valuable assets. It needs to be guarded. If you don’t do that, you put yourself and your family at risk.
OPSEC, or protecting your privacy, doesn’t have to involve a complicated set of rules. Riverwalker says to keep things simple.
He notes, however, that there are some things in your personal life which others don’t need to know.
Look at the long term and put into place measures that can be sustained. You need to know who you can trust with detailed information about you.
For example, you wouldn’t give your bank account information to just anybody. The same is true when it comes to trusting someone with the keys to your home or car.
Would you wear your social security number on a T-shirt out in public?
I hope not.
Nonetheless, attitudes about personal privacy have changed drastically in the last 10-20 years. Many people–especially young people–don’t understand how precious privacy is. They allow themselves to be put at risk without a second thought. Cell phones and the Internet have reshaped the landscape of our personal worlds, but not always for the best.
If a family of preppers shows their storage food on YouTube or goes on a national TV show, are they unknowingly putting themselves at risk? Or are they doing it to show off?
Let’s suppose getting into ham radio is part of your prepping strategy. Is getting the required licence putting yourself into one too many government databases? Are you really protecting yourself by not getting that license?
Is it possible to get carried away regarding privacy? Does keeping secrets foster the notion that you and I are acting as a mysterious lone wolf?
How can you practice prepping without drawing too much attention to yourself?
How can you be sure you’re putting your trust in the right people as you move toward greater preparedness? Are you making the most of the relationships with the people you do trust?
Riverwalker and I talked about these questions and more on DestinySurvival Radio for March 8, 2012. I encourage you to hear what he had to say because it can help you protect one of your most valuable assets as a prepper.
View more on OPSEC from Riverwalker in an article called The Importance of OPSEC for Preppers – When Friends Become Enemies. Also, view Preppers, Privacy and Perception – Safeguarding Your Security.
You may also like my short e-book on this subject called Preppers, Personal Privacy and OP SEC.