OPSEC teaches how to keep personal info personal
With today’s advanced technology, it’s no longer necessary for enemies of the United States to leave the comfort of their homes if they wish to attack Americans on their own soil. It’s because of this advanced danger that it is essential for an advanced form of preventative measures to exist.
“(Operational security) is important because we have adversaries that at all times are trying to attack us at any opportunity, so we’re trying to make ourselves as small of a target as possible,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Pippin, electronic key management system manager and station OPSEC coordinator. “My job is to try to help make us as hard of a target as possible when it comes to operational security and not letting our adversaries know what we’re doing.”
Pippin mentioned an enemy's intent might not always be to cause direct harm, but may be to simply gather intelligence or to strike other vulnerable aspects of someone’s life.
“The thing about (personally identifiable information) is people don’t understand that the adversary wants to attack you any way they can, and that doesn’t necessarily mean do you physical harm. If they can do you emotional or financial harm, they’re going to take the opportunity,” said Pippin.
Given this day and age where almost everyone uses social media, the types of attacks a person can produce have evolved.
“Obviously, adversaries are trolling these websites, they’re looking for people who are in positions working for the government, and not just (Marines), but anyone who works for the federal government,” said Pippin. “Do you want the enemy to know where your mom and dad live? Where any of your family live? (These people) are trying to get shock and awe, all they want to do is get on the news.”
Pippin also shared some matter-of-fact words on defending yourself against personal attacks.
“What you need to understand is you can’t trust anyone on the internet, you just can’t do it,” said Pippin. “The biggest mistake people make is, ‘Oh yeah, this is a friendly dude.’”
Pippin gave other helpful tips in regards to staying protected and private on the internet. Other advice included not “talking shop,” not giving out any personal information on the internet and finding other topics to discuss.
“When you’re on the internet, pretend you’re not in the Marine Corps,” said Pippin. “Don’t tell everyone that you’re in the Marine Corps, you’re just some random guy out in the world trying to survive like everyone else. If you have that mentality, you can’t go wrong.”