- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Lyons Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1599219778
- ISBN-13: 978-1599219776
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, And Vanish Without A Trace 1st Edition
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“It may shock the hell out of you. It did me…. I couldn't put this book down, finding out all of the ways anyone could get their hands on information about any of us. You're more vulnerable than you may think.” - Tammy Chase, Chicago Sun-Times
From the Inside Flap
In a world-wise, straight-talking, wryly humorous narrative, Ahearn provides field-tested tips, tools, and techniques for maintaining privacy, as well as strategies for protecting personal information and preventing identity theft. You’ll learn key tactics such as misinformation (destroying all the data known about you), disinformation (creating fake trails), and reformation (getting where you want to be without leaving clues). Throughout, Ahearn shares real-life stories of his fascinating career—from
nabbing adulterous celebrities to helping abuse victims find safety.
An indispensable resource not just for those determined to be anonymous, but for almost anyone in the brave new world of online information, How to Disappear sums up Ahearn’s dual philosophy: Don’t break the law, but know how to protect yourself.
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Top Customer Reviews
The lack of specific advice in "How to Disappear" for keeping your location absolutely secret gives a false sense of security. Frank recommends using corporations (pg. 88). However he doesn't give specific advice like J.J. Luna does. Frank does not mention New Mexico in "keywords for building your corporation." New Mexico is the only US state not requiring LLC members to be registered. I believe you're putting yourself at great risk if your name and location is tied together in any database.
This book gives unnecessarily restrictive advice about using computers. Frank says "never use [your new computer] to access the internet from your home." (pg. 90) I strongly disagree with "Not recommended: anonymizing software" (pg. 68) and the implied recommendation to use the WIFI at a café or bookstore. Frank doesn't recommend anonymizing software because he doesn't know if it's effective. Proxies and Virtual Private Servers (VPN) are generally effective at not immediately disclosing your IP Address and geographic location. Many providers claim to permanently protect your identity by not logging your IP Address, see "Torrent Freak: Which VPN Providers Really Take Anonymity Seriously?" I believe you should always use a VPN to ensure your ISP and network sniffers don't know what sites you're visiting or what information is being sent back and forth. Frank says "Don't Google yourself once you've hit the road" (pg. 121) because usually your IP address says where you're located. Using a VPN deals with this problem and could make your pursers waste time looking for you in the location tied to the VPN's IP address. Frank contradicts himself saying "Sign up for Google Alerts associated with your name and email address" (pg. 196).
The statement "be careful with toll-free numbers" (pg. 151) is not comprehensive enough. The receipt of call with masked caller-id can unmask it using TrapCall and/or Flowroute, google "How to Unmask Caller-Id (Asterisk)"
There no mention of the risk posed by security questions for bank accounts, e.g. "What's your mother's maiden name?" I know a physician who had over $100,000 stolen because the thief knew his mom's maiden name and social engineered the rest of the needed info. I recommend giving wrong unguessable answers to security questions.
I enjoy "How to Disappear". However I think you should implement J.J. Luna's advice first. Frank's advice is great for screwing with your pursuers. If you run websites etc and like screwing with the enemy I also recommend Aggressive Network Self-Defense. For those who love computers I recommend Secrets of Computer Espionage: Tactics and Countermeasures.
Google alone is probably enough to defeat some of them, if the people you're attempting to talk to have common sense.
Either way, I enjoyed the "skip tracer" stories from the past more than the techniques themselves, though I did enjoy both.
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