Address Confidentiality Programs

Address Confidentiality Programs (ACP) were created to protect victims of stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes from offenders who use public records, such as voter or drivers’ license registries, to locate them. These programs give victims a legal substitute address to use in place of their real physical address; this address can be […]

Voter Records

On June 12, 2017, media outlets in the U.S. began reporting the news that information on over 200 million registered voters was accidentally exposed online due to poor security measures.  The data, which was stored on a publicly accessible cloud server, included 1.1 terabytes of unsecured personal information including names, dates of birth, addresses, phone […]

Sharing A Cell Phone Number

During a recent trip out of town, I met with a real estate broker to inquire about home prices in the area and also get a contact for a local attorney who may be able to help with purchasing property in a non-traditional, private manner.  The broker I met worked for a well known firm, […]

Mobile App Collection

In this post I will summarize some of the mobile apps that I have chosen as part of my strategy for a more secure and private communications platform.  I have reviewed several of these in previous posts, however I am frequently asked for recommendations and a list of what my current set up consists of.  […]

TruePeopleSearch (Opt-Out)

The following information was originally posted to the Privacy-Training blog earlier today.  In a previous post, I discussed FamilyTreeNow and how that website has very accurate details about most Americans, including home addresses, telephone numbers, emails, family members, and other personal information.  An option to remove your data from FamilyTreeNow is available, which was already […]

Unclaimed Property

Every State has a method for individuals to search if they have any unclaimed property that has been reported to the State Controller’s Office or Treasury Office.  People are often surprised at how much unclaimed property there is, especially when they search their name and find that something is waiting for them to claim.  Nowadays […]

Podcast Interview

I wanted to take a moment to remind readers about the Complete Privacy & Security Podcast, hosted by Michael Bazzell and Justin Carroll.  This weekly podcast tackles many privacy & security related topics in depth and also answers listener questions on a regular basis.  As of this week, there are 30 episodes and every single […]

Removal: VIN.place

You may be familiar with this website, vin.place, which shows the full name, address, and phone number of people who have purchased a vehicle at a dealership.  It also shows the vehicle’s VIN, and make/model of the vehicle along with other information.  A great research tool when you know a name, or if you happen […]

OneRep.com (Opt-Out)

OneRep.com is one of those websites that appears to offer assistance with removing your information for a fee.  Make no mistake, they will gladly collect your information from “public” sources to publish it for anyone to see.  They are in it to make a buck as a paid removal and monitoring service, that’s it.  Also, […]

Data Removal: Melissa.com

The website Melissa.com is a data broker that combines a large variety of personal information from public sources.  Their service aggregates real estate records, voter registration records, business information, plus a lot more and makes that information searchable by anyone via a free “look ups” section of their site and also a paid premium service.  […]

Staying Informed

“The future is not some place we are going, it is one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, they are to be made.  And the activity of making them changes both the creator, and the destination.”  – John H. Schaar If you are passionate about any topic, you know the value […]

Silent Pocket: Faraday Sleeve

Today’s article is a review of a product I have been using for a few weeks now that I really enjoy.  The company Silent Pocket has a faraday sleeve that comes is a variety of sizes, perfect for cell phone use.  If you are not familiar with a faraday bag/sleeve, it is used to instantly […]

Anonymous Purchase: Example

I can’t remember the last time a piece of mail or a package arrived at my home that was addressed to my real name with my real address.  The mailbox collects dust, and I enjoy checking it periodically just to confirm that once again, the junk mail is nonexistent. Occasionally a piece of mail will […]

Family Tree Now (opt-out)

Over the past couple months, a new website has come to the attention of many Internet users and privacy enthusiasts.  FamilyTreeNow.com, like many other people search websites, discloses a great deal of personal information on a great many people.  Some of the data it discloses is typically only available from paid services.  Needless to say, […]

Privacy Tool: FireRTC

FireRTC is a free online phone.  It allows a person to make an outgoing call to anywhere is the US, Canada, or Puerto Rico.  Calls can be made from your web browser, and there is even a FireRTC app for Google Chrome and Android phones that make calling even more convenient once it is installed.  […]

Security Guide: iOS 10

Security consultant, author, and fellow blogger, Justin Carroll, has started releasing a series of free blog posts focused on securing Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 10.  He is making this information available to everyone and asked that in return, you share his posts with people you know and ask questions through his blog if […]

Privacy Resolutions

With the New Year approaching, many people make resolutions to accomplish new goals and develop positive habits that will move their lives forward.  One of mine is to continue to exercise more and to eat fewer cookies.  Exercise is already a habit for me, and the toughest part will be to cut down on the […]

Junk Mail Control

This week’s article is all about mail control.  I have discussed in previous posts about the many reasons why a privacy advocate would want to protect their home address.  One of the strategies to accomplish this is to opt-out and suppress your address from as many data brokers and advertising agencies as possible.  This leaves […]

Sudo Privacy App: First Look

I have spent the past month testing out a new app, Sudo, for use as an additional tool in the privacy toolbox and so far I am excited about what I have seen.  Digital Trends provided a bit of background which I will summarize for you here as we take a look at how this […]

Social Engineering

When a person reaches the point where they have eliminated the vast majority of their personal data from online sources, it brings a certain sense of comfort and fulfillment of a job well done.  If you are able to remove your information from those hard to reach, specialized databases then you have gone further than […]

Gear Review: Anti-Surveillance

Today’s post will cover a couple quick gear recommendations that may enhance your secure and private digital lifestyle.  As time goes on, I plan to include suggestions and reviews on software, apps, and fun things that I have used as part of my set up.  In the past I reviewed Signal – Private Messenger, and […]

Digital Hoarding

When you ask a hoarder why they are hoarding whatever it is they have an unusual abundance of; they will tell you, “it’s a collection”.  No, it is not a collection of anything.  It is a problem!  While on the job I have walked into homes where there was an obvious hoarding problem.  The worst […]

Photo EXIF Data

More digital photos will be taken this year than were taken on film in the entire history of the analogue camera business.  Estimates vary on the total number of photos that will be shared this year between worldwide users, between 2-3 trillion depending on how you crunch the numbers.  Some researchers estimated even higher and […]

The Complete Privacy & Security Podcast

I am happy to announce that privacy and security experts Michael Bazzell and Justin Carroll are now co-hosting a podcast to compliment and provide updates to their book.  If you are serious about the topics we discuss here, you need to be studying The Complete Privacy & Security Desk Reference.  They plan to provide a […]

Help For Parents

“A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all.  They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought.  And that’s a problem because privacy matters; privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.” – […]

Removal Tip: Phone Verification

As we have discussed before many websites offer a quick online method to remove your personal information found on their site.  Others make this process a little less convenient by requiring you to write a letter which can usually be sent in via fax or snail mail.  Within the past year, I have noticed that […]

Identification Tips

Most people carry their State issued Drivers License with them to show they are valid drivers and to prove they are who they say there are.  If you are a driver, this is a requirement in every State.  Many States also offer identification cards to non-drivers which can be obtained from the Department of Motor […]

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  National Cyber Security Awareness month has been observed in the US since 2004.  It is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division, and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).  This year a fellow blogger and mentor, Justin Carroll, decided to get in on the […]

Only Crooks Change Their Phone Number

Introduction: Secure and private cellular communications is a fascinating topic to research.  When the contract on my personal cell phone account expired recently, I chose to use that as an opportunity to change up my communication strategy.  Of course, privacy and security were a top priority in developing the new system.  I am not hiding […]

Signal – Private Messenger

Signal – Private Messenger by Open Whisper Systems is a free and open source software application that employs end-to-end encryption, allowing users to send end-to-end encrypted group, text, picture, and video messages and have encrypted phone conversations between Signal users on iPhone and Android.  Although Signal uses telephone numbers as contacts, calls and messages actually […]

Address Protection (PT 2)

In PART 1 of this series on Address Protection we discussed the importance of separating your real name from your physical address.  We also touched on mail control methods and ways to deal with previous addresses found in search results.  Take the time to review PART 1 and follow the links that were provided to […]