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Friday, July 31, 2009

Ramblings on Networking with minimal OPSEC risk..


It is what people do to get to know each other. Most business people do it so they can get to know the movers and shakers in their line of work, maybe get a promotion/ new job offer or just make some new friends that have similar intrests.

You as a prepper should also seek out those of the like mind but how do you do so without risking OPSEC (OPerational SECurity aka giving away your home base) but still make friends???

I will try and cover a few ways to still make friends out there that will grow into life long friendships where you have the power to slowly make sure the people you meet on the web are the people you want to meet in person.

If the people you meet on the web are NOT the people you want to meet in person then no harm no foul, just break contact.


Forums and Message Boards such as http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/ allow you to use PM (private messaging) which allows other users on the forum to message you without revealing your email address. Very low risk method of getting to know others.

Blogs/Facebook/Myspace and Social Networking Sites:

I included blogs as more or less as a way to sell yourself. Once I had a large amount of email to answer for some writing I had done, and many folks wanted to know more about myself. I simply pointed them to my blog and said, "if it ain't in there, I ain't a telling!!!" My blog and information that I post are things I wish to share with the world. I am a terribly private individual, but I love to write, share experiences (as long as they do not compromise my safety) and come up with crazy ideas.

As for Facebook and MySpace? I do not use them but limit the information to the level you wish to reveal about yourself.

As for Twitter??? I tweet on occassion but not enough to follow...

Picture Sharing Sites, You Tube and other media sites:

Just because you post a picture on Photobucket on your personal account and put it in your blog does not mean I can not figure out how to locate your album (unless you go private) and see those pics of you in your pink tutu you thought the world would never see. Remember, what you put on the web can be used against you in the distant future. Those pictures of your house... maybe not a good idea with the pics of your gun safes contents!

Some cameras will geo tag your pictures with GPS coordinates... maybe not such a smart idea to put a picture of your cache site with that info on the web! Get rid of the geo tagging!

On one of my blog entrys on the "Check Six Ring" I am wearing gloves. Why you ask? The answer is... a close up of my finger tips may be innocent, but with the right technology you could probably get my finger prints. No I am not a criminal, but when I served my country they had to ink me so they are 'on record'.

When you take a picture of a new weapon, make sure the serial number is not showing as that is info that the wrong people may use.


Google, Hot and Yahoo Mail allow you to setup an email account so when you give out your email address, it is not your personal email address. Consider them disposable if you need them to be. Once your prepping buddy and you are great friends you can always migrate them to your personal email address. If you publish your email address on the web ANYWHERE spammers will eventually use it to send you those 'wonderful Liberian send me money scheme' emails which will flood your inbox with SPAM and you can't even eat it!!! So use an email account you can dispose of if it gets unusable.

Instant Messaging and Chat Rooms:

Instant Messaging Services such as AOL AIM and other 'type to talk' services allow you to get to know folks and ask those questions in a little more privacy than public forums and make sure that your new internet buddy is on the same page as you. Chat rooms that some forums provide are also great places to meet those of the like mind.

Voice and Video Chat:

When you would rather talk than type and you want to see each other, services such as Skype offer you a way to do this. For those of you who are iPhone users, Skype is FREE @ the iTunes store and it works seamlessly with it. You can call any other Skype user for free and if you need to you, can even call a landline/cellphone for a price as needed.

A cellphone is a great way to talk with a new friend. With many cellphone plans offering long distance plans all the way across the country, you can reach out and call those far away friends. You can cahnge your cellphone # if you get to be to popular and want to make it all go away. Prepaid cellphones are also low risk and low cost solutions to calling your new friends with pay as you go plans that don't lock you into multi-year contracts.

Ham Radio OPSEC:

I was reading some of the comments on Preparedness Junkie's blog the other day and we are both on the same page about posting our callsigns on the web... not a good idea. Where there is ham gear there is nice stuff. Where there is ham gear and prepping supplies, there is thief nirvana!

For those of you who have a ham license or plan on getting one, I highly recommend acquiring a PO BOX address to be associated with your callsign. I will not go into the details but there are websites that will give you the address to any callsign that is out there. With a PO BOX you get the town my mailbox is in, and that can be ANYWHERE!

Hams are generally good people, but you don't want all the looney tunes having a pathway to your home.

I am not EVEN going to go into the risk of using APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) which displays a users location to other hams who are voluntarily allowing their position reports to be displayed and how that can be used by criminals. I only use APRS on vacation and never within a set radius of my home QTH (hamspeak for location). So think before you give away your position to the entire web until YOU want to and understand the implications!

I am not telling you this to make you paranoid and I don't think TPTB are out to get us, but I think by covering your six, by limiting your personal info, and being vague to strangers, goes a long way to protect yourself from the scumbags that lurk the web.

1 comment:

PJ said...

Yay! I'm famous now!!

Excellent stuff once again.

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The information presented in this blog are things I know how to do and have training for. To duplicate any information or techniques within is solely at the readers risk and ZombieAxe, ZombieAxe's Ramblings or Google shall not be liable for any advice and information posted within that results in damage/loss of property, injury, loss of limb, or death. By reading this blog you, your family, your heirs and even folks that have not been born yet, have entered into an electronic binding contract to not hold any entity liable (especially ME!) but YOURSELF for any damage/loss of property, injury, loss of limb, or death from reading this blog.

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