Survivalists, preppers and even security personal can be prone to the same shortcomings they often preach to the unprepared – making a case for themselves.
Too often we become obsessed with being up to date with technology and skills-sets that we forget to look at ourselves. Sure, we know why we do the things we do, but what message are we projecting to others? Are we too transparent? Instead of being truly covert – the height of preparedness or surveillance – are we being terribly overt?
Pride can be a flame that draws unwanted attention. There’s nothing covert about the neighbors saying, “Looks like John’s bought enough food for two Armageddon’s,” or “Look’s like Mark’s on security detail again.”
It’s not just about staying under the radar; it’s about taking stock of what you’ve been doing and that’s why it’s important to take a week of self-reflection and case yourself.
Start Your Day with Breakfast
Case yourself like you would a suspect. What type of dress do you wear and what kind of image do you project? Your morning routine leads to a lot of deductions, useable by the enemy or opportunists. We all know we need to change up our morning routines just in case, but if you’ve fallen into a rut or simply become comfortable this can be the wake up call you need to bust up your pattern.
Gadgetry and Gizmos
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the technology age, it’s that people sure do love having stuff.But there should be a time and place about bragging about what you’ve got.
To the unscrupulous neighbor or blog reader, it’s all part of a mental shopping list they’re creating to call on when the opportunity presents itself. Most of us are probably guilty of making mental notes of things we would pilfer if the need presented itself, so take stock of what you have and who knows about it.
Cash is King
Money advice and buying habits are best discussed by accountants and bankers. We will offer, however, when it comes to spending your money and leaving as few traces behind as possible, put your money on the barrelhead.
If you haven’t already, take a closer look at your credit card or bank statement – and don’t just look at the bottom number to see if you have anything left in your account at the end of the month. Every one of those purchases or deposits creates an easily deciphered pattern if it finds it’s way into the wrong hands. Friday nights out on the town with the boys means nobody’s home until midnight. Frequent Monday-to-Friday visits to the fast food joint is a pretty good indication no one’s paying attention to your work computer at the office; return visits to the hardware store might mean you’re making enough racket at home to not hear who’s moving around in the backyard.
Using cash gives you the only piece of paperwork you need, proof of purchase. Using debit or credit creates paperwork announcing you have proof of purchase, so cut the redundancy and tighten up your paper trail.
Loose Lips Sink Ships
The greatest threat to your security is yourself. Whether its using social media or meeting someone for the first time, we can give up a frightening amount of information away in a very short period of time. Marital status, kids, where we grew up or went to school used to be civil points of conversation but are now nuggets of information we don’t want to in the wrong hands. And God forbid if you tell the wrong person you go to the Dominican Republic every March on holidays. You might come home to an empty home – literally.
Pay Attention to What You Give Up
Safe topics for making conversation can be your job – if you’re allowed to talk about your work – or a “safe” hobby, like woodworking, sports or history.
And if all else fails, create a throwaway profile. Really dig into something that is not necessarily important at first blush– cooking, gardening, maintaining a salt water aquarium – and learn enough to pass yourself as a budding amateur. This becomes your first-contact profile until you can evaluate someone.
What you decide to give up after that is up to you.
For the dating man, there’s something to be said about being the guy who is passionate about his gold fish collection one day, to being a karate black belt who can shoot the petals off a flower at 75 yards and also knows how to administer wilderness first aid the next.
Bringing it All Together
James Bond was an international man of mystery, but he was also a respected socialite. No one truly knew Jason Bourne, including Jason Bourne and there was a clear boundary between work and home for Ethan Hunt.
Balancing what some would call a double life is a struggle and holding back while being affable doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us but throughout the day there’s many opportunities to practice and hone your skills.
Pick your moments. When the barista at the coffee shop asks how your weekend was, she doesn’t need to know you shot the best grouping in your life at the range. Maybe this is a good time to tell her about your new goldfish.
More than likely, though, it’s the perfect time to just say “good,” pay her in cash and leave it at that as you walk to work using a different route than the one you took Friday.
Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Please welcome Christopher Gooding as a contributor on ITS Tactical. Christopher is a Canadian survivalist who hates finding his picture in a Google Images search.
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