There is an old saying that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” That is certainly true in the intelligence world.
For most people, the term “Dumpster Diving” may conjure up images of someone ransacking a trash bin, but in the operational secruity (OPSEC) arena, the expression carries an entirely different connotation.
Our adversaries have been known to take papers from dumpsters outside offices. In fact, it is a common tactic used by foreign intelligence services. It involves going through and collecting the trash left out for collection in front of homes and businesses. Trash may also be stolen from waste baskets by cleaning crews.
Following are some OPSEC tips you can use in order to prevent putting pieces of the puzzle into the enemy’s hands:
1. Keep documents secured in desk drawers when not in use.
2. Shred documents that contain personally identifiable information (PII), mission critical, or FOUO information when disposing it.
3. Remove your common access card from your computer anytime you leave your desk.
4. If you no longer need it, shred it!