11 Ways To Get Your Privacy Back
Steps You Can Take Today for Greater Privacy Online and Off
Privacy is disappearing quickly in the modern world.
Almost all of us carry around a personal tracking device in the form of a mobile phone.
Many countries require internet service providers to keep records of our internet search history.
Phone calls are routinely monitored for key words.
Alexa and other devices are listening to our conversations at home.
We are being monitored 24/7 by cameras in big cities.
So, how do you get your privacy back from ‘big brother’ states?
1. Have an Anonymous Phone
Don’t have a mobile phone contract where your address is registered with the mobile provider and the monthly bill is deducted from your bank account.
This device registers so much information about you, it’s important that it can never be tracked back to you. Use a device registered in a different country to throw any snoops off the trail.
2. Use Encrypted Apps like Signal for Communication
Instead of using the mobile network for phone calls use an app that’s encrypted and preferably one that doesn’t store meta-data.
The communications app can be registered to a different phone from the one in your pocket so that nobody knows your real phone number.
3. Never disclose your home address
The only person who should know where you sleep at night is the person you sleep with.
You should have a trusted maildrop for receiving mail, especially for government correspondence.
You can also use hotels for receiving mail when you’re there for a short time.
You could have a maildrop hold your mail and forward it to a hotel in a different city when you travel.
4. Use TAILS
TAILS stands for The Amnesic Incognito Live System.
It's an independent operating system that runs from a USB stick. It stores no history of your computer activities.
Every time you finish a session everything is wiped and forgotten.
Web browsing is encrypted through Tor, making it more difficult for enemies to track your location.
5. Use a VPN
You should also consider using a Virtual Private Network when browsing the internet.
This means that your home ISP will not have a record of your internet browsing.
However some caution is required.
You should pay for the VPN service anonymously so that they do not know your identity.
Most VPNs say that they don’t keep logs. I’d be somewhat sceptical of that claim. Do your own due diligence on VPNs.
6. Register Your Vehicle to an Offshore Company
You have little privacy when driving.
Automatic Number plate Recognition technology is becoming more common and speed cameras are everywhere in some countries.
Registering a vehicle to an offshore company means they have to send the tickets to Panama or the Cook Islands!
A second driver’s license is easy to obtain and also a useful tool. Particularly in countries where penalty points are added to local licenses.
7. Use Cash or Anonymous Credit Cards
Using credit cards or debit cards leaves a digital trail wherever you go.
Anybody looking for clues about your finances or lifestyle only needs to get their hands on your card transactions.
You should use cash whenever you can. If you must use a credit or debit card, use one from a bank outside your home country.
8. Get Used to Using Crypto Currencies
Crypto currencies can be useful for transferring and storing money.
Funds can be held in what is effectively a numbered account, not linked to any individual.
Whoever has the password owns the account.
Crypto currencies are almost impossible for governments or creditors to seize as there’s no central authority.
Bitcoin does not have a headquarters that legal papers can be served on.
This is reason to consider having at least a portion of your assets in crypto currency.
9. Never Travel directly from your Home Country to your final destination
If you’re travelling from your home country to visit your banker in Switzerland or Singapore don’t take a flight directly to your destination.
Get a flight to another destination first. When you get there buy your ticket to your final destination.
Make sure there’s no trail from your home country to places that you don’t want anyone finding out about.
If you live in New York and you own bank accounts and real estate in Panama, consider flying to Mexico City first.
When you’re in Mexico City buy your ticket to Panama, using cash if possible.
Never tell any one person too much about your affairs.
Sometimes the people you have trusted most become your worst enemies. More people end up facing problems because an ex-wife or ex-business partner has ratted out on them than anything else.
Tell people only what they need to know. Don’t brag to your wife or mistress about your secret gold stash in Singapore.
Don’t mention your secret bank account in the Cook Islands or your back up Irish passport to your business partner.
11. Keep a Low Profile
It can pay to keep a low profile in life. There’s no need to make your neighbours envious with ostentatious displays of wealth.
Don’t draw attention to yourself. Drive a comfortable car that doesn’t stand out from the crowd.
Live in a nice, luxurious house that doesn’t appear too ostentatious, at least from the outside.
In today’s world there are teams of bureaucrats looking for any outward signs of success.
If you’re taking a private jet to visit your banker in Monaco don’t be stupid enough to post the picture on Facebook.
If you’ve chartered a yacht in the Caribbean for the winter, keep it to yourself and your guests. Don’t post the pictures on Instagram.
Take time to enjoy experiences with your loved ones in real time. There’s no need for the rest of the world to know about it.