Invisible Privacy | Online Privacy

JJ Luna's personal privacy blog. In 1959 he moved to Spain's Canary Islands to begin a then-illegal educational work that included secret meetings in remote mountain forests. Although pursued by General Franco's Secret Police, he maintained his privacy via a false identity and was never caught. When the Spanish dictator moderated Spain’s harsh laws in 1970, Luna was free to come in from the cold. However, he remains in the shadows to this day. He is currently an international privacy consultant.

Privacy Links
Privacy Blog Archives

  • Fictitious names
  • Ghost addresses
  • Medical records
  • Home deliveries (not!)
  • Computer security
  • Canadian bank accounts
  • Trustworthy nominees
  • Safe driving techniques
  • Self defense measures
  • Hiding places
  • Craigslist ads
  • Self employment
  • Simple lifestyles
  • Real estate
  • Private investing
  • Hidden ownership
  • Vehicle purchases
  • Home-based businesses
  • Disappearances
  • Secret storage
  • Subpoenas (avoidance)
  • Faraway small banks
  • Identity theft protection
  • New Mexico LLCs
  • Off the grid living
  • Unusual burglar alarms
  • Low-profile travel
  • Border crossing tips
  • Internet searches
  • Stalkers (losing them)
  • Private detectives
  • Anonymous rentals
  • Two-way radios
  • Foreign mail drops

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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How to avoid the danger of buying a laptop online

“I purchased a PC,” writes Tom, “from Dell via their website.” He used a credit card with a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA) as both the billing and the shipping address. The next day he started getting calls from some call center.

“Finally after 8 or so calls, I did answer and it was Dell Customer Support. On the other end was a man from India with a fake British accent, and he was calling to verify the order and address.”

Tom answered those two questions and ended the call. However, the Dell agent called back and said he knew that the address Tom gave was that of a CMRA. He would therefore have to verify Tom’s identify by having him list “every address I have ever had since living in the US (mind you I was born in the US), and especially would need to tell them my home phone number and home address.”

When Tom refused, the agent said, “Sir, I have all of this information on my computer screen. Just verify it, so we can process your order and ship it.” Tom says that when he asked the agent how he obtained all such information, he was told that “the government allows us to access their national database which lists all of the information on every citizen, and we use this information to prevent fraudulent orders and to verify identities and addresses."

Tom canceled the order, but writes, “To further tick me off...and scare all of us, this person I found out later tonight, called my parents house and left a message regarding my Dell purchase and a few questions they needed answered. Thankfully my parents did not answer the phone nor did they return the call, instead they called me ASAP, and informed me of the call. Now this is what’s scary, I have not lived at my parents house for over a decade and they live in another state.”

Tom concluded by saying that thanks to my advice in How To Be Invisible, “they obviously were not able to track my cell or virtual number both of which are assigned to two different CMRAs in two different towns.”

The above was taken from my Q&A page. When I posted it, a reader from Texas wrote, “Dell most likely used a Lexis Nexis product such as Accurint and your parents contact information appeared in the search. Lexis Nexis has some products that collections agencies and financial institutions use to find people.”


Dell makes some fine products. In fact, I recently purchased a Dell laptop with the XP operating system and a solid state hard drive. However, I did not place the order myself. Instead, a friend ordered it for me—a friend who is not a privacy buff. He uses his home address for everything else, so what was one more package delivered by FedEx?

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Can a pen name protect a writer's privacy?

Perhaps, but it is not as easy as you think. The first challenge will be to keep your real name from the literary agent (and without an agent, forget about selling to a major publisher).


Your name is George E. Gardner. Your chosen pen name will be Susan Simpson. When you get an agent you will have to sign a contract. The agent will assume the name you give her is your true name but do not do that. Instead, you give her "Robert L. Anderson." (Reason: She will pass the Anderson name on to the publisher, along with your pen name of Susan Simpson, regardless of your instructions to keep your true name private.)

The contract and the copyright

Use a New Mexico limited liability company with a ghost address for your copyright. This LLC name will show up on the reverse side of the title page of your book. However, do not let the agent send you royalty checks in the name of the LLC. Instead, have them sent to your wife (if you are married), or to G.E. Gardner, "the owner of the LLC. " Use the correct SSN, which you will need to give the agent.


Even though the agent now has a correct SSN and thus all will be well with the IRS, she will have given the publisher both your pen name and what she THINKS is your true name. Although checks will go to "G.E. Gardner" at some faraway ghost address, there will be no clue that this person is anyone other than the owner of the NM LLC.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Can you live without a bank account?

As I say in my book How To Be Invisible, "Hundreds of thousands of American citizens, as well as a similar number of illegal aliens, manage to live without any bank account at all, and not all are financially disadvantaged."

This is one way to ensure that you do not accidentally reveal your home address by writing a check for the rent, taxes, home repair, or whatever.

Any normal purchases can be made in cash, including gas, car repairs, appliances, and even expensive electronics. If a few bills must be paid by mail, money orders can be used.

For convenience, of course, a bank account is important. Some use an account in Canada and withdrawn funds at ATMs. Others keep an account in a small faraway bank, as described in Invisible Money. And a few intrepid souls use the ultimate in privacy, a nominee account.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

NM LLC documents -- Law firms vs. Canary Islands Press

Since a lawyer will charge up to $1500 to form a NM LLC (and that includes the NM resident agent's service for only one year), you might expect a document to LOOK authentic. If so, you may be disappointed!

Although both Rosie Enriquez and Michael Spaulding currently charge as little as $397 for a NM LLC, this includes three years for the services of the resident agent. Do their Articles therefore look cheap?

You decide. (The NM law firm's Articles are on a cheap sheet of white paper. Rosie's Articles (blue border) are on heavy bond stock with a lithographed design.)

Conclusion: A legal document should also look legal.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

CASH: Never leave home without it!

If you’ve been following the Q&A forum on my Web site, you’ve seen the results of carrying—or not carrying carry—extra cash whenever you leave home.

The bad news is seen in post #7100: Robert, 43, from Baltimore, Maryland. Topic: Western Union Warning.

He writes: “ … a friend called and needed a small amount of cash due to an unforeseen emergency.” Unfortunately for Robert, he failed to put into practice what his mother had taught him as a youth: “Failure to plan on your part does not create an emergency on my part."

Thus, Robert responded by going to Western Union to send his friend some money. You can read what happened next in Robert’s long and detailed post.

The good news is in post #7101: Dave, 54, from Orland, Florida. Topic: Personal Identification. He writes:

“Being a passenger of friend operating an older vehicle, radiator failed and a tow was necessary. Stating my insurance coverage also could envelope assistance for a car I was traveling in, we used this service (we were about 10 miles from a shop where we could get this repair). About an hour later, my glowing favor turned to a shade of gray when the tow driver, in completing paperwork (under my LLC), needed information: my drivers license! Uh, thinking to myself, this isn't going to work. Saved myself from the noose with quick thinking because, as we know, money talks …”

In SKIP COLLEGE: Go into business for yourself, I write in detail about the advantages of always, always carrying extra cash. The information about that subject alone is worth far more than the modest $17 price of the e-book.

How much extra cash should you carry?

Take enough cash with you for whatever you think you’ll need for the day, plus three $100 bills. The three bills are only for an emergency. If used, they must be replaced with all possible speed. Men, carry the bills in your left from pocket. Ladies, pin them inside your bra.

“What if I don’t have an extra $300 to carry around?”

In SKIP COLLEGE, I recommend a minimum of $1,000, but to some, that seems overwhelming, so I’ve temporarily lowered the bar just to get you started. As for putting aside $300, I quote from SKIP COLLGE:

“Before the sun rises tomorrow morning, make a vow not to spend anything for nonessentials until you get that backup money put together. No eating out, no buying sodas or beer, no movies, no cable TV, no unnecessary trips around town, no newspapers or magazines, no lattes, no presents for anyone no matter what the occasion, no tithing, no nothing—nada en absoluto. Do not tell me it cannot be done, especially if you are living with one or both parents or can go back to doing so. I know Mexicans working two or three jobs at minimum wage who send $200 or more to their wives or parents back in Mexico every month."

A firm prediction for the future:

If you do as I say, there will come a time when you’ll look back at this advice and be grateful that you followed it, because when an emergency occurred, you had the cash to solve the problem.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Prepare your “safe house” before you need it!

The first known safe house in history was one used by two Israelite spies. They hid themselves in the house of Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho. (Joshua 1:21 – 2:24)

The term “safe house” is often seen in spy novels and in movies such as “Mission Impossible.” However, a safe house can be used by anyone, including you and me. If you have any money to invest, now is a great time to buy a vacation-type property that can serve not only as a weekend retreat but as a safe house for unexpected dangers in the future. (I currently own more such safe houses than I need. If any of you readers might be interested, I have one available which includes 1000 feet of river frontage and a private island in Washington’s Skagit River.)

The ideal safe house will be owned by a New Mexico LLC with a PO Box address in a faraway state. Nothing, nothing should connect you to this property. Even if you never need it yourself, perhaps a brother, sister, son or daughter may someday be able to use it as a refuge while they sort out a temporary emergency.

Ten years from now, who knows what prices vacation properties may bring? Especially if your safe house is on an island or on the bank of a scenic river.

However, if you prefer not to purchase property at the present time, low-cost alternatives are available. These are dealt with in my e-book OFF THE GRID: Living or traveling in a van, truck, or converted cargo trailer.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

How to create an invisible owner for your new business

The “owner” will be invisible because he or she does not exist.

Unless fraud is involved, I believe this practice to be entirely legal. Let’s suppose your name is Anita B. Chavez, Golda A.Goldstein, or Bashiyra Binte Nur Um Lifti. You resolve to start a business via the Internet, and you
decide that, in the particular fi eld you have chosen, a generic-type man’s name would look better.

First, choose a three-word business name with the same initials as yours. Then invent a man’s name with the same initials. For example:

. . . . . Your actual name: Anita B. Chavez
. . . . . Bank account name: A. B. Chavez
. . . . . Business name: Awesome Birthday Cards
. . . . . “Owner” name: Albert B. Caldwell
. . . . . Checks made out to: A.B.C.

The opposite is true, of course, if you are a man who wishes to sell merchandise that will appeal to women. Choose a woman’s name that will seem best to go with the product.

The above information is taken verbatim from SKIP COLLEGE: Go into business for yourself. This e-book has many more tips and tricks for those are--or hope to be--self-employed.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

What should you do when the police bang on your window at 10 pm and scream for you to open the door?

That was the question that confronted a young woman in Mount Vernon, Washington on January 12, 2010. I’ll refer to her as Maria, which is not her real name.

She and her 2-year-old daughter had been watching the penguin cartoon “Happy Feet” when she heard a knock on the front window. She went to the window, pulled the blinds aside, saw a police badge being shown, and heard a man yell "POLICE! OPEN THE DOOR!"

Maria, frightened, opened the door. Two men in ski masks pushed their way in. One man grabbed the child and the other man pushed Maria onto the couch.

Did rape and murder then follow?

That such was not the case was due solely to what her ex-husband had taught Titan, the family pit bull, to do—to attack on command. Maria screamed the command. The man on top of Maria started to pull a gun but not before Titan raced out of a back bedroom and sunk his teeth into the man’s left leg. Both men then fled, with the dog close behind them.

In hindsight, Maria should never have opened the door to police impersonators, but how was she to know that they were fake police?


In such a situation, never open the door. Instead, call 911. If the men are the real police, rather than impersonators, the 911 operator can confirm that. And if they are not the police, a patrol car can be sent out to catch them.

Not everyone keeps a pit bull in the back bedroom, trained to attack on command.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Canadian border-crossing problems (Part III). Q&A.

After returning to the United States, I contacted John—an Officer with US Customs & Border Protection on Minnesota’s northern border. Some of my questions concerned the viewpoint from the Canadian side so he was kind enough to call some of his acquaintances on the far side of the border.

The questions that follow are about my nerve-wracking entry into British Columbia from Blaine, Washington.

1. When my license plate was photographed, did their computer show the name my pickup is registered in?

Every license plate is read and the vehicle’s crossing is logged each time you cross. However, the registration information is generated on only about 10% of vehicles at MOST. Myself and a few of the officers I work with have asked why this is the case and we've been told it has to do with the county/state the vehicle is registered in. Some counties report the registration information, some don't. From what I've seen, it's VERY hit-or-miss with what places do and what places don't. There's really no rhyme or reason to it.

2. Did the Canadians keep a copy of the hard drives on both my laptops, along with the files on my flash drives?

According to policy, no copy of the hard drive is allowed to be made. BSI (border search of information) is VERY regulated and we are only allowed to look at what is on the PC's, that's it. If something was to be found (i.e. child pornography, etc), then a case would be opened on you and all related evidence (the laptop in this case) would be seized and turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for prosecution. That would be the only time a copy would be kept and that copy would be the actual PC. In short, no, no copies are ever made. [John refers primarily to US policy here, but it appears to be similar in Canada as long as all passwords are freely given and as long as nothing incriminating is found.]

3. Will the Canadians report a search like this to US Customs so one can be flagged when crossing back into the States?

No, Canada and the US do not communicate anything. There's a lot of red tape keeping us very separate from Canada Customs. The only time information might be shared is when an Officer on the Canadian side might call a personal friend on the US side to just give them a "friendly" tip. This is pretty rare and in my experience, only done when the person crossing is a real pain in the butt and just plain obnoxious. Nothing formal is ever exchanged unless done by a designated intelligence officer, in which case you would probably know because you've done something wrong (i.e., someone called in a tip that you were smuggling drugs back and forth, etc.)

The above answers eased my worries about what had happened while my computers and flash drives were out of my sight, but now I had more questions about border crossings in general:

LICENSE PLATE: When I come into the US from Canada, does your computer show how many times this car has come through? If so, over what period of time?

Yes, but only if the Officer decides to actually look at that information; it isn't presented unless solicited by him/her. As for the time period, sorry to tell you but it's forever. From the first day records started being taken until now and so on. I've seen crossing histories (which DO include international flights) as old as 20 years or so.

PASSPORT: Even though I travel with different vehicles, will the computer show how many times I have personally come through?

Yes, but just as with your vehicles, the information has to be solicited by the Officer in order to be viewed (which only takes a matter of seconds). As for the crossing history, the same applies here just as it does with vehicles... it's forever.

LIARS: On page 253 of HTBI, I mention an inspector who claimed he could spot a liar in 5 seconds. Was that hyperbole? What's your opinion on old-timers being able to spot a liar? (I would think that a few get through.)

This one is an interesting question. In short, yes, it's completely possible. After having worked at many ports of entry myself and having been in the service for a few years now I am able to pick out a lie pretty quickly. I talk to probably 150 people a day on average so over time it's almost impossible to not pick up a thing or two when someone's lying. Not to say I'm a 100% every time because I know that would just be foolish to think. Of all the Officers I've worked with, probably 50% of them (that being the percentage of them that actually care about what they're doing and are half-way serious about their job) could probably pick out a lie easily within the first 2 or 3 questions with no problem at all. I've even worked with a few guys that could tell you whether a person was admissible to the US or not (were criminals, etc) and would lie about it while that person was still sitting two cars back... and those Officers were almost always on the dot! Even if someone's lie isn't discovered within the first few seconds, if a guy asks enough questions the liar’s going to run out of answers eventually.

CARRYING CASH: I often travel with up to five thousand dollars in cash. Might this in itself raise any red flags?

As for leaving the country with cash, that's more reliant upon the location and what the "norm" is I would say. Where I am, I would think nothing of it nor would any of the Officers I work with, it's just too common. Even cash in the 10's of thousands really isn't a big deal. We have tons of farmers here and enough dual-citizens that worrying about lots of cash isn't an issue because it's just too common a thing. That said, anytime cash or any other "negotiable monetary instrument" in excess of $10k enters or leaves the country it has to be reported and recorded. That would warrant a secondary exam but only due to the paper work involved. N
othing more unless foul play is suspected.

At a larger or more "city-oriented" Port, the cash might be more of a concern, especially the closer to British Columbia you get. British Columbia is ground zero for the best marijuana to ever grace this earth some would say. I would venture to bet that the first thought to cross the mind of an Officer at the port of Blaine, WA (for example) would be that the cash was going to be used for purchasing pot, especially if that amount of cash isn't transported often enough to make it "normal" for that area.

To answer your question in short, though, no, someone wouldn't get sent to secondary based on that quantity of cash alone. The cash in conjunction to something else might ring a bell in an Officers mind whereas one of the two items alone might not have.

PASSWORDS: What would happen if I had a laptop with me and I refused to give the password? Would I be arrested? Would my name be flagged for any future visit?

I spoke to Canadian Customs tonight. They told me that if someone was to refuse to turn over passwords then the computer would just be seized and sent to Ottawa to be dealt with by a technician. If nothing was found after the technician unlocked it the PC would be sent back to the owner.

As for the flagging of the traveler, that would be completely up to the Officer at the time of the initial secondary inspection. The lady I spoke with tonight said that she might log something like that but as for flagging the traveler for the next time they came into Canada, no, she wouldn't do that unless there was a huge need to have it done. It isn't routine.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Okay, readers, that’s it for now on Canadian border problems. However, if you have any experiences to relate, by all means post them here as a comment.

NEXT WEEK: What should a young woman do when police bang on her window and scream for her to open the door? (A true horror story that just happened in western Washington!)

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Canadian border crossing problems (Part II)

(If you have not already done so, first read the January 4, 2010 entry.)

The woman who questioned me at the U.S. border was actually pleasant. What a big surprise that was! No questions whatsoever about laptops, storage devices, or if I had been near any small children. Instead, just the usual questions about where had I been and what was I bringing back with me. Then:

OFFICER: “How much money are you carrying?

ME: “Between four and five thousand dollars.”

OFFICER: “Why so much?”

ME: “ I was going to make a deposit in Port Alberni but I missed seeing the bank when I came thorough. It wasn’t all that urgent anyway and I was in a hurry to catch the noon ferry at Duke Point so I didn’t turn back.”

OFFICER: “Why do you have a bank account in Canada?”

ME: “I opened it years back, when I was having some printing done with Friesens in Manitoba. And by the way,” I said with a smile, while drawing my hand across my throat, “there’s no money to be made in self-publishing!”

The kind lady smiled and waved me on through.

Three comments about carrying cash into Canada:

1. It appears to be permissible to carry a substantial amount of cash, as long as the value is under $10,000 Canadian.

2. Tell the truth about which bank you will be visiting—specific details will give the officer confidence that what you say is true.

3. Decide beforehand how to explain why you have such an account. This may be because you often vacation in Canada, or because you think Obama is on such a wild spending spree that you expect the American dollar to fall below par with the Canadian dollar within the next year or two.

But meanwhile, what about the fact that the Canadians went through my laptops? Did they keep copies of my files? If I ever return to Canada, will they know I’ve been there before? If I use the same pickup, will that show up as having been in Canada before?

I posed those questions, and more, to a good friend who works with US Customs and Immigration at a border crossing in Minnesota. If you ever wondered what happens when you pull up at the border and hand over your passport, be sure to read next Monday’s blog:

Canadian borders crossings (Part III). Your questions answered!

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Canadian border crossing problems—read this before you cross with a laptop!

I’ve entered Canada many times, always with two laptops, and never a problem until December 26th. At the Canadian border crossing (Blaine, Washington), a young Asian woman scowled at me in response to every answer I gave to her questions, especially when I told her I have never been arrested. (Apparently she thought there are only two kinds of travelers, those who admit they’ve been arrested, and those who lie about it.) I was told to park my pickup and enter the building—the dreaded “secondary inspection.” What followed was one the most miserable experiences I’ve had in recent memory.

“Give me your keys,” said an older, heavy-set officer, “and then sit over there.” From where I sat, my pickup was not visible. Eventually I was called back to the counter and the questions began.

“Why do you carry TWO laptops? Why are your keys connected to a Kubotan? How many flash drives do you have with you? Why doesn’t your wife travel with you? Are you going to be around any young children? What’s the name of the man you plan to meet in Ucluelet? Have you ever met him? No? Then how did you know about him? Why do you carry a Bible and some religious magazines, when you also carry two bottles of wine? (I quoted some pro-wine Scriptures at this point, which put an end to that line of questioning.)

In days gone by, I survived two interrogations by Generalissimo Franco’s Secret Police but this session with Canadian Customs and Immigration was even more depressing because I knew they were going to go through hundreds of my supposedly private files.

My Asus PC Eee, my backup Vaio, and the two flash drives require passwords. I was forced to reveal them. Then both the man and the young woman disappeared into a back room with my computers and flash drives and left me sitting out there alone with nothing to read and nothing to look at, for 55 minutes. That was the worst part.

True, I keep client lists, tax returns, confidential letters, and most of my pictures on a secure laptop at home that is never connected to the Internet and never leaves home. Nevertheless, there were hundreds if not thousands of files on those laptops and flash drives. Was this going to ruin all the work I’ve put into keeping my private affairs private? My mouth went painfully dry.

Finally, the man reappeared. He handed me the computers and flash drives and allowed me to leave. No “Sorry to bother you,” much less “Welcome to Canada.” But had they copied both hard drives? Would the U.S. Customs and Immigration be notified to check me out when I returned? I carried $4,000 in cash, stuffed inside a glove in the tool compartment below the rear seats. They hadn’t mentioned the money. Had they not found it, or had they taken it? If so, what recourse would I possibly have? I feared I was about to kiss four big ones goodbye.

I had planned to work on some new chapters of a book tentatively titled “How to Hide Your Identity and Protect Your Privacy (International edition)” but what if my hard drive was going to be copied again at the U.S. border? So far, the Canadians at the border crossing had failed to connect me to my Web site or my HTBI book (which I did NOT have with me). Result: I did no writing whatsoever and cut my trip short.

If you plan a Canadian border crossing with a laptop, keep this information in mind:

1. Carry only a “clean” notebook or laptop with you.
2. Answer every question truthfully.
3. Be prepared to give up all your passwords.

Or … leave your computer at home.

Or … cancel your trip.

A surprise was waiting for me when I returned to the ‘Promised Land’ but I’ll leave that information for next week’s blog. Stay tuned for Part II of Canadian Border Crossing problems!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

How to hide your identity when you move

A common complaint from readers of How to Be Invisible is that when they move to a new location, neighbors start asking them their name and where they work.

1. Alter your name to hide your identity

Keep your first name but change your last name just enough so the neighbors cannot Google you. It’s best if the name rhymes so that if a neighbor later learns your true identity, you can explain that he may have misunderstood when you previously gave him your name.
Examples: Change Benson to Jensen, Hernandez to Fernandez, Martin to Barton, Ryan to Brian, Crosby to Cosby, Dawson to Lawson, and O’Reilly to Reilly or Smiley.
If that doesn’t work, perhaps you can use your middle name as your last name. This works well with using a passport as ID because the first and middle names are on the same line, with the last name below. More than once I’ve had persons glance at my passport and think my middle name was my last name.

2. Be vague about where you work to hide your identity.

The best choice here is to indicate you work for yourself in some obscure niche that no one will question further. However, if you leave and return each day at a given time, you may need to give a specific answer. I have a friend who says he works for the IRS. That usually ends any questions about his job.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

“Why and how should I change my name?”

There are many reasons why you might wish to change your name but the three main reasons are privacy, privacy and privacy.

One example is when you have an unusual first or last name. Even worse is when both names are unusual. If you run your first and last names on Google and come up with only one or two persons besides you, you can be tracked down in a heartbeat.

Another example is when you have a somewhat more common name but when combined with a city and state, unfavorable references about you will come up on the computer screen.

The easiest way to change your name is to just do it, without benefit of a legal name change. However, if you need to have your name change show up on your passport and your driver’s license, then a legal name change will be necessary. My suggestion is to pick four common names. Where possible, the second and third names should be names that are used both as first names and as surnames. Example:

James Martin Lee Williams.

Then, in addition to using Williams as a last name, you might also sometimes list yourself as James Martin, James Lee, Martin Lee, or even James M. Lee.

(The above information about changing your name is taken in part from How to be Invisible, Chapter 9, “Your Alternate Names and Signatures.”)

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiger Woods’ cell phone records: Privacy NOT!

The fact that Tiger Woods was even using his normal cell phone (that his wife had access to) was beyond dumb, it was stupidity personified—as was the apparent serial adultery.

Lesson learned: The fact that you are brilliant in one field does not mean you are playing with a full deck in a different field. In the case of Tiger Woods, a cell phone address list was his downfall. But in another case—this one from Anacortes, Washington—forgetfulness was what brought down Garrison Chase Colby, 39, who professed to be a devout Mormon.

He forgot to go through the pockets of his suit before he sent it to the cleaners. In that suit was his wallet.

According to the December 11, 2009 edition of the Skagit Valley Herald, “An employee at the cleaners opened the wallet and discovered a handful of identification cards. All had different names but all had the same photo—[Colby]. She called the police.”

Colby now sits in jail, facing numerous charged related to his past. As for the famous golfer, he does not face jail time but Tiger Woods’ cell phone records do remind us, at the very least, not to allow any secret telephone numbers to be in our every-day cell phones. And Garrison Chase Colby’s arrest reminds us that it is always best to go through the pockets before sending clothing to the cleaners.

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