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, […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Removal Letters

Many people search websites and data brokers offer a convenient online method to opt-out of having your personal information displayed on their site.  Usually this is a form which can be completed by providing only an email address for verification purposes.  You will need to click a verification link sent to your email for the […]

Privacy Workflow

Those of us who have chosen to safeguard our privacy and take digital security to another level know that it requires changing our habits and being more situationally aware.  This awareness extends from the digital world and into the physical world as well.  Operational security is a constant assessment of your threat model, and can […]

Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. They work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology […]

Disinformation

Based on my experience, many of you will be successful at removing most, if not all of your personal information from the Internet.  You will need patience, due diligence, and a willingness to learn how “the system” works and the many methods that are available to keep your information hidden from public sources.  By changing […]

30 Minutes With Michelle

A friend of mine contacted me recently with questions about an investigation she was working on.  We discussed many topics during our conversation, including online investigations and how a savvy investigator can connect the dots between seemingly small pieces of information in order to find more significant pieces of the puzzle.  The puzzle in this […]

Address Protection (PT 1)

Protecting You Home Address Separating your real name from your home address is extremely important.  Home is where you and your family can be located, and anyone who Google’s your name may be able to find you easily.  Most people’s home address can be found on over 40 different websites within a minute.  This represents […]

Social Media Alerts

Social Media Social Media is a gold mine of information for anyone or any company looking to find information about you.  Delete your social media accounts and never use them again.  I know, easier said than done, right?  Well, evaluating your presence on social media is a critical component of hiding from the Internet.  Serious […]

Become A Student Of The Game

If you have decided that hiding from the Internet, or your physical and digital security are important to you, then you need to begin making decisions that support those goals.  Not every method or technique is appropriate for everyone and you need to assess your threat model to determine what conveniences you are willing to […]

Open Source Intelligence

There are many ways to collect intelligence.  This post will briefly discuss Open Source Intelligence because it is particularly important to understand this discipline when we are talking about protecting our personal information.  But first, let’s take a look at an excerpt from the FBI’s website which describes various intelligence collection disciplines and their meanings. […]

Nuwber Removal

Nuwber is a people search engine that organizes White Pages listings, Public Records and Social Network Information to help you safely find & learn about people. Nuwber is a leading Data-as-a-Service (“DaaS”) provider for consumers and businesses seeking detailed insights on people, places and things. The Company is one of the largest owners of public […]

Choose Your Own Adventure

One of the questions that I am asked most often by people who are interested in their online privacy is, “how can I delete my information”.  Law Enforcement colleagues who are seeking to improve their “digital officer safety”, will ask which website they can visit to accomplish this.  Many people are looking for the simple, […]

Data Privacy – A Threat To Law Enforcement

DIGITAL OFFICER SAFETY: Connecting the dots…“All it takes is the right person to put it all together for devastating effect.” You may not feel like you are a juicy target for a hacker right now.  You keep a low profile, you don’t overstep your authority or even speak to the media (someone of higher rank […]

States Protecting Law Enforcement

Currently there are four states that have specific laws that protect law enforcement officers and government officials and enable them to request their personal information be removed from public information databases. Citing these specific code sections when writing letters to data brokers and sending removal requests to websites where your information is posted, will help […]