Keeping information private consists of controlling the damage it may cause as well as limiting knowledge of its existence.

How to Keep Information Confidential Like a Secret Agent


The need to keep information confidential can be birthed from many reasons. There may be information which is dangerous for you to expose, or things which you’re embarrassed to be associated with. You may be acting to protect someone else’s safety and interests, or maybe, just need to wait until the perfect time to unveil certain pieces of information as a surprise.

Whatever your reason for keeping secrets may be, keeping information confidential is a skill that can be honed. How would you react should someone discover information you’re attempting to keep under wraps? How about if someone begins digging a little too deeply into your business? We seldom prepare for the moments which test our ability to keep information confidential. These moments should be prepared and trained for. They need to be visualized, and you should be confident in your ability to withstand the pressures others place on you to reveal information you’ve promised not to.


For Every Action to Hide, There Will Be a Reaction to Discover

Your act of keeping information confidential should be implicit in itself. A major key to your information remaining private, is not allowing the ones around you to know that this private information exists. For example, it is more difficult to keep our age private than it is to keep knowledge of the box of jewelry you have hidden in the attic under wraps. The fact of your existence tells others that there must be an age associated with it. You thereby can’t deny the existence of your age if someone asks you how old you are, but can only refuse to tell them the number.

Keeping the existence of information hidden is better than refusing to voice specifics if the existence is already known. If you tell people a box of jewelry exists somewhere in the house, they’ll be more likely to find it, even if the location is not disclosed.

The first, and perhaps most important principle in keeping information confidential is to control the knowledge of its existence the best you can. Your aim for confidential information should be for others to not even know that it exists. If existence is discovered, then you’ll be forced into an act of hiding information, rather than controlling its existence. The act of refusing to tell others you age will induce a natural reaction in others to pry and dig for it. They’ll look out for you forgetting your wallet and be enticed to study your driver’s license. They’ll keep an ear out for any discussions about your age; perhaps the year you graduated high school, or when you had your first drink. For every action taken in attempt to hide information, people around you will have a reaction to try and discover it.


A Secret Discovered, Is Now Meaningless to You

If the information you’re attempting to keep private becomes disclosed, try your best to devalue its importance in your eyes, and the eyes of others. Confidential information discovered by someone you don’t approve of is to be considered public information. It should lose its importance in your eyes, and you need to quickly swallow the pill of the world knowing about the information you worked so hard to keep a secret. Do not be surprised in the face of someone discovering the things you attempted to keep a secret, and do not give them any credit for discovering it, whether it be a positive or a negative reaction. You now live in a world which knows the secret someone was successful in discovering.

Your choices now, are to either live with the secret being public, or to adapt the information discovered and propel it into confidentiality once more. If your box of jewelry is discovered by someone you do not trust, it is in your best interest to move it to a new place. Some secrets can be modified to maintain their confidentiality such as the location of the jewelry box, while some cannot. If something like your age, which you’ve attempted to keep a secret, is discovered, your only option is to live in a world in which that information is public. Now, you are in a phase of damage control, not concealment.

The optimal thing to do with information of which the status is now public, is to devalue it. Keeping your age confidential after someone discovers how old you are is senseless. The quicker you release the grasp that its importance has on your thinking, the easier it will be to control the damage which its use may cause. If others see that the information they’ve discovered means something to you, they’ll be more likely to use it against you. The secrets which are discovered should become meaningless to you. They are secrets no longer, a fact which should be genuinely accepted at once upon their discovery.

Book Recommendation: 

Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide

Disclaimer of Opinion:
This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.