Comms Security (COMSEC)

Call Signs:

Do not use actual names. Create call signs. One idea is to use the phonetic initials of the user. Brian Williams would use the call-sign “Bravo Whiskey”.  Another idea might be to simply to assign a number to each user.  If you have two teams, then the team leader of the first team would be “1”, and each su

If worried about privacy then communicate using prearranged code.

If you need to change channels then adopt the idea of Bandit in Smokey & The Bandit: If I say go to channel 2, then really go to 4. If I say go to channel 4, then really go to 8. …or something similar.

More soon.

FRS & GMRS Radio Privacy Codes:

The privacy code feature will subdivide channels into more channels so that the user can find a clear channel to use when other are taken. These sub-channel are referred as “Code” and the appropriate number (example: Channel 4 – Code 3). In a busy radio environment, you and your party might get traffic on Channel 1 – Code 0, but when you switch to Channel 1 – Code 5, you find it clear to use. Most radios have 22 privacy codes and some have more, making plenty of channel/code combinations to choose from. Choosing “Code 0” will disable all of the sub-codes and allow you to monitor traffic on all of the selected channel.

BE AWARE: If you only learn one thing about FRS and GMRS radios from this post, then this should be it: Privacy codes do not work the way that you probably think that they do. The “privacy codes” do not give you privacy! They don’t encode your transmission. Instead they encode your receiver to pick up transmissions on the same privacy code, and limit YOUR ability to hear others on the same frequency near you. Example: You are on Channel 3 – Code 4. You can only hear transmission on the same code, but if some else were on Channel 3 – Code 0 (“Code 0” = no privacy code) they would be able to hear all transmissions on Channel 3, regardless of code, including yours.

I would recommend operating “Code 0” so that you can be aware if anyone is operating on the same frequency. If you operate on any other code then you may not be aware of anyone else operating and they may be able to monitor your traffic on their radio when selected to “Code 0”. Keep in mind that unless they transmit then you will have no way of knowing that they are on the frequency and are monitoring. At least if they speak then they will give themselves away.

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