Olympia/Thurston County Preppers Message Board › Operations Security or OPSEC is an important topic for preppers to understand.
Too often I have been out in the various prepper communities on the internet and witnessed a prepper “bragging” about his/her preps. This is NOT a good idea, it basically negates anything you’ve done to prepare you and your family for SHTF scenarios. Using simple Google searches and websites like Spokeo I am able to find out their real names and their last known addresses.
Rules of OPSEC for Preppers:
◾Keep your Preps To Yourself
By this I mean, you don’t need to advertise to the world what you are doing to prepare yourself for a disaster. In the event SHTF, you may have some uninvited guests show up at your door looking for shelter. Because they didn’t prepare for themselves they’ll want you to use your resources to help them too. You most likely won’t have planned for this scenario and won’t be able to support them and yourself without putting yourself at risk of running short of supplies.
There are, whether you believe it or not, people on the internet who don’t have your best interests in mind. There are people out there scouting or “casing” these communities of preppers for people local to them. I’ve seen multitudes of comments like “I would just go and take what other people have.” or “I don’t have to prep when I know everyone else has what I need.” With all of the social media out there, it isn’t hard to find out who someone is or where they live. My suggestions to counteract this:
◾Use fake or made up usernames. Change your first or last name on your Facebook profile. Make it hard for someone to figure out who exactly you are.
◾Don’t ever sign up for social media accounts using your primary email address or residential address. Have a “shell” email account that simply acts as a way for you to sign up for user accounts on other websites.
◾Don’t ever use your real location when responding to someone online.
◾Educate your Family on OPSEC
Tell your family about OPSEC. Explain to them why it is important not to go around talking about your food storage, water storage, or any other preps that you may have assembled. If little Susie or Johnny goes and tells their father that you’ve got all kind of water and food in the basement Susie’s father may keep that in the back of his mind when SHTF.
◾Don’t Reveal Disabilities or Medical Ailments
Telling strangers online or in person about your disabilities either permanent or temporary is a big mistake. Doing so can make you a target of opportunity. Seeing you as being weak due to your medical issues could give a would be attacker more confidence that he will be successful in his/her attempt to take your resources. I see this online all the time. Elderly or disabled persons asking what they can do to prep because of this or that medical condition.
◾Don’t Tell Anyone about your Bug Out Locations or Caches
Duh!!! Don’t tell anyone where you plan to bug out to or where your supply caches are located if you have either.
◾Don’t Post Personal Photos!
Don’t post photos of your food storage, water storage, or weapons. It’s just like advertising with a big neon light what you have and what people can come try to take from you. This is another big thing I see on various social networks. If you have a lot of photos of your face posted publicly, you need to be aware that there are facial recognition applications out there that are available to the public. Facebook uses a form of facial recognition software to identify people in your photos.
Remember, Loose Lips Sink Ships. The more you talk about things with friends or strangers the more you’re putting yourself out there to be a target for people who would rather take what you have than to prepare for themselves.