Protect critical information: on and off duty

  • Published
  • By Jeff Jeghers
  • Installation OPSEC program manager
During these tough economic times when many members of the Hanscom community are trying to find ways to save money and budget for future expenses, thieves are busy trying to exploit these same desperate times for their criminal advantage. Do not fall victim to them. 

Critical information is the fundamental building block for what is known on the job as Operations Security, but critical information also exists away from the office and is a major part of our personal lives. Everything from the obvious social security number and birth date to the more obscure home decoration or state of the snow around an individual's house can be considered critical information if given the right context. It is important to think of critical information as information or indications an adversary needs to plan and act effectively while reducing or eliminating a victim's potential for success. 

Are you managing your critical information effectively? If you spend time at night coupon clipping and calculating sales savings but turn around and dispose of credit offers in the trash, you are only fighting half the battle. 

It is true that our information is already in hundreds of databases and subject to exposure. Individuals may wonder why we should bother protecting what is already outside our span of control. The answer is simple. The one person who actually intends to harm us may be the low-tech thief walking our neighborhoods while we work hard for our country. 

Individuals should continue to practice sound OPSEC on the job and allow it to cross over into their personal lives as well. Information is the modern world's number one commodity. By possessing the critical information of both our professional and personal lives, we are obligated to protect it. 

For more information regarding critical information, protective measures or Operations Security, contact your unit OPSEC POC or call (781) 377-5966.