Seasoned survivalists are familiar with the concept of OPSEC (operational security).
It protects the integrity of your prepping lifestyle from would-be violators and other credible threats.
But this new form of security is something all preppers need to get on board with.
Survivalism itself engenders ideas of an old-school ethos and a tradition based on conventional wisdom.
While this is true, it’s also important for survivalists to be agile enough to adapt to new challenges that might require new techniques.
In the contemporary world, OPSEC is not complete without a plan for internet security.
Data breaches online can pose some of the greatest threats to your privacy and general well-being.
That’s why even the most tech-averse preppers need to embrace cybersecurity.
The threats to your online privacy are everywhere.
Google and Facebook, arguably the two most powerful companies that have ever existed, know practically everything about you.
Even if you’ve never had a Facebook account, the company very likely has a ghost profile of you.
Facebook does this by filling in the dots between people.
For example, if you have family members on Facebook that perhaps list you as a sibling, Facebook will build a profile with your name and fill in the dots based on other information pieced together through other connections.
So Facebook could potentially know your location without you sharing any information with the company.
Be careful about what information you put online, who you share it with, and who you allow into your cyber-network, because Facebook can use all of it to figure out who you are.
And Google is potentially worse.
A recent Washington Post article outlined how the browser Google Chrome essentially spies on you.
The Washington Post article said:
“Over a recent week of Web surfing, I peered under the hood of Google Chrome and found it brought along a few thousand friends.”
Cookies, that is the “few thousand friends,” are pockets of data that glom onto your web browser.
“Shopping, news and even government sites quietly tagged my browser to let ad and data companies ride shotgun while I clicked around the Web,” The Washington Post continued.
You’ve likely noticed that an Amazon search for a random item will suddenly cause banner ads for that item to appear on all the websites you frequent.
The Post continued, “This was made possible by the Web’s biggest snoop of all: Google. Seen from the inside, its Chrome browser looks a lot like surveillance software.”
Chrome dominates the web browser space — they control about 50% of the market — and they’re the worst when it comes to privacy.
The company is currently working with China on artificial intelligence, which could help the quasi-communist state to exert even more surveillance and control over its citizens.
China already has a dystopian social credit score system, and Google is helping them abuse privacy on a grander scale.
A browser such as Mozilla Firefox offers basically the same level of functionality without the aggressive spying.
Further, you can improve your cybersecurity with vigilant online habits.
For example, never click on mysterious email links that are actually gambits to compromise your data.
This phishing technique is precisely how top Democrat strategist John Podesta and other members of the Democratic National Committee had embarrassing emails break out into the open.
If you get an email link from a seemingly trusted website or a friend that seems off, double-check to make sure it’s actually legitimate.
Some phishers will compromise someone else’s email, then blast links to people in their address book, or use an email handle that’s similar to a major company, such as AT&T.
Also, be careful about how you select passwords.
Avoid anything that’s imminently guessable, and try not to pick something so obscure that you have to write it down or save it in an email to remember.
Phishing scams and poor passwords are precisely why so many celebrities have had to deal with embarrassing iCloud hacks.
Finally, you should consider using a VPN (virtual private network).
A VPN shields your IP address and offers better protection to sensitive data.
This is particularly helpful if you work in public spaces.
Advanced hackers can pluck your information from the public network, which offers weaker protection than what you might have at home.