FBI director shares advice he gives to his children about living in today’s dangerous world

WASHINGTON, D.C. — At a Washington think tank on Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey shared security tips he gives his five children, including putting tape over webcams, which Comey said he himself does.

Speaking to an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Comey explained that his children were coached to manage fear when under attack.

“They got training when I became director on all kinds of depressing things, on how to think about fear, and one of the things they learned was that there are four possible states of the world,” Comey said.

Here’s how Comey described each of the four states:

Red: “You’re in a fight, stress hormones are coursing through your body, you’re in a fight for your life, it’s unsustainable long-term.”

Orange: “You’re on the cusp of a fight, the hormones are starting to course through you.”

Yellow: “Healthy awareness that there are really bad things out there and people who do want to kill us, but not a disabling, unsustainable state of orange or red.”

White: “Headphones on, New York City subway platform, midnight texting. Obliviousness to the world.”

Assistant Attorney General John Carlin interviews FBI Director James Comey. Amanda Macias/Business Insider

“The state my kids were coached to live in and that I would urge all Americans to live in, is yellow,” Comey said. “Resist obliviousness, be aware of your surroundings, but resist what they want from us which is a disabling state of fear. Live in yellow.”

“And my kids were coached further, to show you how depressing it is, two seconds means everything.”

“You have two seconds once something happens to seek safety, to get out of the way, to get down. In two seconds, if you’re in white, is like that. But if you’re living in yellow, two seconds is a meaningful period of time,” Comey added.

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