144 of 150 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2012
Let's get a couple things straight.
There are a good number of people who assume that you need to be on the run from the law or on some sort of terrorist watchlist to buy a book called "How to Be Invisible". That's clear just from the reviews of the second edition of this book.
And some over-the-top, exuberant reviews of this new edition, bordering on gospel, don't help either.
The fact is, there are dozens of examples throughout this book of ordinary, law-abiding citizens who have put Jack Luna's principles into practice, and have come out the better for it, for an endless variety of reasons. And there are many people alive today who are kicking themselves for not putting those principles into their lives.
The title is misleading. You don't have to make yourself "invisible" to gain wisdom from this book and apply it to your daily life. Luna outlines simple precautions, costing virtually nothing, that will give you more privacy than 99 percent of the population. But if you want to burn your bridges and make your tracks a memory, the tools are there. And if the principles in the book are fully implemented, you'll give the best PIs in the country a run for their money.
"But if you don't have anything to hide, why should you worry?"
Ah, the age-old retort. Nothing to hide? Good for you!
But think for a second -- is there anything in your house or on your computer that you wouldn't want splayed across the front page of the New York Times?
And that's not a rhetorical question. Not a week goes by without the contents of someone's life published in the newspapers and online, from a false arrest or an innocent mix-up, or even good news like winning the lottery.
Anything from the contents of your liquor cabinet to your prescription bottles to your guns to those steamy adult sites in your web history to the Jesus print hanging on your wall can be used to paint a picture of you, if you're the victim of some innocent mistake.
The principles in this book can make it almost impossible for such a mistake to occur in the first place.
I gave this book 4 stars because I would have liked to have seen more on computer security. There are easy and free ways to protect your computer and Internet connection from anyone from your curious toddler, to the nosy neighbor stealing your wifi, to the federales themselves. There are two chapters on computer and Internet security, with an emphasis on social networking such as Facebook, but most of it is common-sense Internet Safety 101 that every teenager should know. There could be some more details on protecting your computer, as it's every bit as important as protecting your home.
Nonetheless, this is a minor quibble, and it doesn't take away from the fact that this book is useful to almost anyone who is looking to take control of their personal lives. Hats off to Jack Luna for a useful, comprehensive, and eminently readable book. This third edition is still, rightfully, the standard in its field.
86 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2012
The only reason I'm not giving this book five stars is that I reserve the highest rating for masterpieces of literature or science. This is more of a fast reading interesting and mind blowing "how-to" book. However, if you are planning on moving to a new home or apartment anytime in the next several years, this book should be a 5-star choice for you. It's critical reading for anyone planning a move, or who knows they will be moving in the future. Anyway, I've read JJ Luna's prior editions of HOW TO BE INVISIBLE and got my hands on an advance copy of this newly revised 2012 edition...just in time for my vacation. I read this book on the beach and it had no problem holding my attention (that's a compliment if you know what I mean!). I had reviewed the book in the past as somewhat out of date, and cautiously I read the new edition to see if it was just a rehash of old material. To my surprise I only noticed a few carry-over stories. I didn't do a serious comparison, my point is that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as if I were reading it for the first time. JJ Luna rose to the occasion of making a very contemporary book that was obviously recently written. It never ceases to amaze me how much of an information trail we are all leaving behind us as we go through normal daily activities...and it's only gotten WORSE since the last edition of this book was published. I can't always do anything about it, but I think it's important to know how unsafe it is to have personal information constantly being collected and stored. Take my utility bills: JJ Luna explains EXACTLY how private investigators (often working for lawyers or crossed lovers) obtain personal information that utility companies tell you is safe. This book is an eye-opener. Everything may be fine today, but one car accident, or major health problem, and any of us could have lawyers, bill collectors and private investigators tracking us down. If you have equity in your home, watch out! Next thing you know someone might be coming after it. If you have children approaching their teens, this book will give you a LOT to talk that may change their lives before they get sucked into social media and other privacy robbing "hobbies". But unlike books that just tell you how you are losing your privacy, it provides specific advice on what to do including current links to web resources. My child is just about to emerge into the world from college. He will get a copy from me because THAT is a great age to start protecting privacy. The younger you are the easier it is to maximize your privacy...if you know what you're doing. I'm still not prepared to go to the level of anonymity of Mr. Luna, but I like the fact that I can consciously choose my level of privacy once I know what the risks are of giving out personal information in the Internet age. I will be re-reading this book several times.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
This book is an indispensable tool for anyone seeking to reclaim a modicum of privacy in a world where grasping governments and greedy corporations conspire to examine every detail of your private life. The author recognizes that each of us has a need for a certain level of privacy depending on our circumstances. He outlines four levels from simply maintaining basic security all the way to completely disappearing when someone is threatening your life. The path to privacy in every aspect of your life is set forth in clear and concise steps that are practical and, for the most part, legal. Each reader can choose the steps they want to take based upon their needs. I hadn't thought about many of these issues before, but this book opened my eyes.
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2012
Privacy is a complicated subject and my recent interest has filled my library with books and research papers. The authors fill a wide spectrum: high-minded social thinkers, corporate policy wonks, government lobbyists, liberty groups, individual privacy advocates (some of which would be branded "conspiracy theorists" by some). If you are not interested in a lengthy study of privacy issues and you don't want to sort through all the books written by high-brow intellectuals & whacked-out crazies, let me make this simple: START WITH THIS BOOK.
While there may be books that cover particular sub-topics in more detail, this book covers every key privacy topic of any relevance. Most importantly, it includes SIMPLE, PRACTICAL, TESTED, PROVEN, USEFUL ADVICE. There is simply no other book like this anywhere. Even given the significant changes in law and technology, any given chapter of any edition of this book is easily worth more than the asking price of the whole book!
I have gone on to utilize some of J.J. Luna's services (which I also highly recommend), and my own experience has been that he is in a class by himself. In these perilous times which make privacy so critical, trust is in dangerously short supply. I find it more than a little ironic that the elusive J.J. Luna has emerged in my personal world as one who clearly holds himself to the highest standards of integrity and honesty.
As I continue my own journey towards personal privacy, I am honored to consider J.J. Luna a mentor and a friend. I congratulate him on this 3rd Edition of his incredible book and encourage anyone blessed enough to have found this book to obtain a copy of this masterpiece for your own library! If you decide you don't like it and you would like a full refund, I would be happy to oblige. :)
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2013
Contrary to some misconceptions, it's not only criminals that need to hide. Not just abuse victims, either! Fradulent lawsuits, unethical private investigators, injury lawsuits, mistaken identities, other corporate mistakes, and an overbearing, big-brother, growing Marxist government are all good reasons you may want to hide your address or the ownership of some or all of your property/assets.
This person states his background from the beginning (living and doing "illegal" business under Generalissimo Fransisco Franco, then becoming a P.I.) and that his book will cover things many people will agree on to things most consider extreme. But he makes good points for ALL of this when he relates stories regarding himself and also clients. You wouldn't believe the things a P.I. will do for money, and that most of them will look the other way for the right price, even if they should be suspicious of the person hiring them (abusers claiming their victim owes them money). They do many underhanded things to trick people into violating your safety and giving information they otherwise wouldn't. All this must be thought about when trying to hide ANYTHING, for ANY reason. One of the best stories is how he THANKFULLY avoided a FALSE lawsuit related to a shopping cart, after observing a cart hit a car, merely because he had a fance (e.g. "rich") car, though he did not use a shopping cart himself. Because the car was "owned" by an LLC, the person who threatened him wasn't able to find out who owned the car (if he even tried).
He is also honest about the limits of concealment. For example, all you chain mailbox stores, and the post office, regularly provide a list of all clients, present and past, to the government.
But with Mr Luna's expert experience, he can guide you in choosing how far you need to go, and what will be required, as well as what you can reasonably expect...WHO you can hide from, and who might find you.
This is definitely a book written by an expert, in plain language for the newly paranoid. You should expect that you may not want to take all the steps suggested in this book...or maybe you will. That's the beauty of it!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2012
This book is flat out fantastic if you really want to find out how deep protecting your privacy can go. I only use a few of the recommendations, such as using a mail receiving agency. However, Luna does a great job of expanding your thinking as to what is possible. There are lots of creative solutions, and if I had a big enough or more legitimate fears, I would use some of his other ideas. Overall, a good portion of the book is actionable for every day people and will help anyone have a bit more protection for themselves and their family in their daily lives.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2014
The idea of becoming less visible is nearly impossible if you want to walk among the living, buy anything, receive anything or be self employed or work for someone else. The idea is enticing though. The author has fairly good prospects of levels you care to incorporate if it's possible in your life. The rise of intrusive, information gathering technology can very easily neutralize just about any effort you want to make. The Achilles heal to any strategy is a lone actor in a system circumventing protocol and doing what ever they want to literally hundreds of thousands of individuals data will make your effort useless. The idea voter data bases, Amazon purchases with various online sellers, credit card purchases, spiteful sellers you gave a bad review to can expose you to more than you bargained for. By the time something that is alarming in your life gets on your radar it is to late. Not sure how most of us can help our selves at this level.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2013
Mr Luna's book is an excellent reference on keeping your private affairs private. Many people will assume that only criminals on the run have any need for privacy.......but good and innocent people go to jail or have their lives examined publicly because of a mistake by law enforcement, vengeful people who know how to work the system etc. Think about it; if a tabloid journalist walked into your house what would he see? Liquor? Pornography? Even a Bible? IF, God forbid, something like that happens to you, what you need most is TIME. Time to think. Time to get certain items out of the house. Time to contact your attorney. The steps that Luna outlines in this book will buy you that time. Using his reccomendations, you can quickly take some inexpensive steps that will give you more privacy that 98% of the American population. Movie stars and cops do not need this book; they already know this stuff. THIS book is for the little guy. You and Me.
PS Luna should have included some info on how to dress and act in order to achieve more privacy. My advice is; look and act as white bread middle class as you can.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2013
It was scary how devious and sneaky some underhanded private investigators can be with pretexting to extract information from people to cause them to give up your whereabouts. JJ Luna really shows tons of valuable tips to increase your privacy. The book is very useful. It is unfortunate that we live in a world where it is so necessary to guard and protect our privacy, but there are practical measures that are available to assist in maintaining privacy. And JJ Luna has a very readable, valuable, up-to-date book for this purpose.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2013
This book has some very good advice and ideas for keeping your private life private. I enjoyed the book and will be implementing many of the suggestions. Mr. Luna learned by experience and has been practicing his methods for years. Some may find the advice impractical or an inconvenience, however, you must be willing to give up some convenience in order to maintain your privacy. I think personal privacy is worth the trouble, especially for safety reasons.