OPSEC and the holiday season

  • Published
  • By Robert Vaughn
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing

Though January is National OPSEC Awareness Month, it is imperative to understand the importance of practicing OPSEC all year. Every day is an opportunity for Airmen to refresh their understanding of what OPSEC is and how it plays a role in their day-to-day lives and the execution of their wartime mission.

OPSEC protects critical and sensitive information. It is in place to protect the lives of U.S. service members, Department of Defense employees and contractors. Operations Security means denying adversaries the ability to collect, analyze, and exploit information which could be used to degrade national security.

This is accomplished through identifying and analyzing critical indicators, vulnerabilities and any internal and external threats.  Creating countermeasures to protect information helps mitigate unintentional spillage that may fall into the hands of those threats.

This not only applies to the daily mission, but your personal lives as well. This Holiday season many will be traveling away to visit family and friends.

Be sure to apply a few countermeasures during this season!

  • Be cautious about giving out information regarding any travel plans. Only give those plans to those that have a “Need to Know”
  • When socializing at parties during the holidays, refrain from talking about the mission. Be vigilant for attempts to elicit information, even from friends or family.
  • Try to leave your home with a “Lived-In” look. Use timers for the lights, TV or Music playing device.
  • Have a neighbor collect your mail and newspapers or place a temporary stop on delivery.
  • Be alert of any criminal activity in your area and report anything that may be suspicious.