OPSEC: what is it and why is it important?
OPSEC : Operational Security, basically – what you say matters for the safety of your military and country.
A lot of people don’t know about OPSEC or maybe they just don’t know what they can and cannot say. My rule of thumb is that if you have to question whether you should say something or not, you probably shouldn’t. The security of our military is vital and really any piece of information is useful to the enemy. Think of all the things they could gather and piece together to find out one important detail. That’s why OPSEC is at utmost importance.
Example: What if you say something on social media that communications are down. Which then in return, pretend I am an enemy. I know that the ship cannot communicate, they must be doing something I should know about, or maybe it’s a good time to attack!
Limit what you say about…
- Military movements (deployment/redeployment dates, dates of field exercises, flight information etc.). For example, posting dates such as “next Tuesday” IS a specific date
- Any issues with the unit
- Anything concerning security
- Equipment issues (what, no flak vests?)
- Locations of units (it’s OK to say they’re in Iraq, but not to say that your spouse’s unit is at Fort ABC in camp DEF in Afghanistan)
- Discuss future destinations
- Discuss future operations or missions
- Discuss dates and times of exercises
- Discuss readiness issues or numbers
- Discuss specific training equipment
- Discuss people’s names and locations in conjunction with operations
- Speculate about future operations
- Spread rumors about operations
- Discuss sensitive information in public areas of the site
- Post excessive personal information on public pages, such as:
- Deployment timing
- Your family members’ full names, ages or where they attend school
- Your address
- Rank and unit affiliation
- Deployed address