Frequently Asked Questions:
This is a collection of questions and recommendations that I am frequently asked about during training and consultations. I will compile that list here and update it when necessary so that others can benefit.
Q: There are many options for a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Which one do you recommend and why?
A: I have tried a few different VPNs, both free and paid services. The paid services offer much more in the way of reliability, speed, and privacy features. I personally use PIA (Private Internet Access) and would highly recommend their service. PIA offers a fast, reliable service at a great price without logging your VPN activity. Their support is excellent and I like that you can pay for their service anonymously using major brand gift cards.
Q: Is there a way to have a PO Box that is not tied to my true physical address?
A: The post office requires that you provide them with your physical address when renting a PO Box and they verify this address with a recent utility bill or identification that lists your name and address. In my case, my identification does not list my true physical address so I needed to provide a utility bill. Luckily, soon after renting my new PO Box, I moved to a new location. That enabled me to show the post office a valid physical address that I had a utility bill for which was sufficient to rent the PO Box. Fast forward a few years later, as long a person continues to pay their renewal fees on time, the PO does not ask for an address update.
So…if you plan to move anytime soon, that may be the perfect time to rent a PO Box because you’ll have a utility bill from your old address to show for verification. You’ll receive a renewal notice at your box and you can return it via mail without having to update your true address again. The addresses on my drivers license, passport, and vehicle registration are linked to my PO Box… which is linked to a previous address…which of course has been removed from any database I can think of.
Q: Do you recommend using any of the paid removal services?
A: Paid removal services do an amateur job at best of removing your information from some of the common people search websites. Many of these services are run by former or current law enforcement employees. I do not believe that cops should charge other cops for assistance with methods that will help keep them safe. A person can achieve a much more comprehensive level of privacy and security on their own through a little education and by completing their own opt-out removals. I would only recommend using a paid service if someone was simply unwilling to put forth the effort to remove their compromising online information, and who only wanted a very basic level of removal done. I highly encourage anyone concerned about their safety to be more thorough. More info here and throughout this website.
Q: What can I do if I become the victim of Identity Theft?
A: Every year millions of people are victimized by Identity Theft and recovering from it is often not an easy process. The Federal Trade Commission has created a excellent tool to work through the recovery process at IdentityTheft.gov. The site will walk you through a step-by-step approach to report and repair your damage. There are different paths depending on the type of identity theft you have been subjected to. Even if you are not currently a victim of identity theft, spend a few minutes reviewing the site. A review now can help you become more aware of the problem and help you understand what immediate steps you should take if this happens to you.