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By Cynthia Flores-Wilkin

Installation OPSEC program manager, operations specialist, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security

When you “think OPSEC,” what’s the first thing that enters your mind? Military members, DoD employees and contractors probably think of online training, or possibly boring slides and more slides. Training is probably one of the most important tools to enhance awareness, but it does not have to be boring; besides annual training requirements, there are interesting videos available on YouTube where you can learn how OPSEC plays a role with consumers. In our current era of electronic commerce, consumers are impacted from counterfeit products daily by receiving goods that are not genuine. Businesses lose money from these schemes and rely on strong OPSEC programs to prevent counterfeits so they can ensure consumers receive brand names that are safe and authentic.

In January, which is designated as “National OPSEC Awareness Month,” we will continue the focus on “think OPSEC.” There are five OPSEC steps: analyze threat, identify critical information, analyze vulnerabilities, assess risk, and apply counter measures. OPSEC does not stop when you leave work or home. Always share guidance with your family, friends, and colleagues as your inner circle becomes safer when everyone is doing the right thing; And as threat numbers continue to grow, OPSEC vigilance remains a priority amongst us all. Think OPSEC.