I'd like it in BOTH forms because I can use the mp3 for my iPod (which is registered under a pseudonym!) or computer. I can send the CD to those who'd like to have the CD, especially since I've decided everyone in my family is getting a copy of HTBI as a birthday gift this year! Great idea! Thanks.
Wendy, , Age: 44
Mr. Luna: We (the HTBI Privacy Club) would find an audio CD that deals with the various subjects you mention very interesting, especially if it included specific step by step instructions on what to do first, second, third, etc to protect privacy, so that one forgotten thing or mis-step does not undo your previous or futute HTBI steps. Most members of our HTBI Privacy Club were able to follow the HTBI & Invisible Money books, but one of our group needed just a little more help getting some of the concepts and procedures, and figuring out what to do first. Even I have been a little nervous that I'll accidentally compromise myself after I have arranged an HTBI lifestyle because I missed a step along the way (like almost setting up auto billpay from a charge card in my primary name for a utility account established in my alternate name). Thanks, Mr. Luna!
Linda, , Age: 30's
Yes, such a CD would be very helpful. Even more helpful is if it is available in mp3 format so it can be downloaded from this site. Thanks for the idea!
Irene, , Age: 37
[Edited for length] Piggybacking on what Sebastian said, David, in ALL US states, LLCs and Corporations MUST maintain a registered agent ("RA") for service of process and documents sent from the state to the entity. (It's one of the subjects covered in HTBI.) Every state has RA services, like the one below, for this purpose. In your case, because you fear legal action (and you SHOULD entering any high liability business) be absolutely certain to (a) hire a professional RA service or attorney, NOT your best friend's cousin or some other person who might fail in that capacity leaving you wide open to liability and (b) keep the annual RA service fees paid and (c) make sure that RA is doing his/her job on your behalf.
If you're REALLY fearful of lawsuits, use a reputable, licensed ATTORNEY as your RA. If you fail to keep your annual RA service fees current thus your RA service in force in any state, you loose your corporate/LLC charter and cannot file or defend a lawsuit in the name of that corporation in that state AND may be subject to fines or big reinstatement fees for your corporate charter. Also, DON'T allow a CMRA to accept ANY service of process or certified/registered letter you haven't told them to expect on your entity's behalf since that may be a summons.
Wendy, , Age: 44
[Edited for length] I am in the process of starting a company that will have dozens of liscensed companies or franchises. We shall provide hazardous chemicals and so...the problem is the registering with the EPA in the US. How may we do this and have a registered agent etc, without my name being listed. I have talked with countless attorneys about this issue and they just look at me funny, provide no answer, then send a bill...Please advise.
PS: Your book is most interesting.
URL #1: http://www.ctlegalsolutions.com
David, , Age: 45
"If David is doing what he describes, this is not amateur hour. He needs a real pro, He should look at CT Corporate Systems, who can do this on a national level, but it ain't cheap."
See link below.
This is for those who find it difficult to find files, documents and software that they have stored on their computer. You make 26 files and label A-Z, then set up all the viewing to be done by Thumbnails then put all the alphabetized files etc into the appropriate folder. Make a Spread sheet with Index, Sheets A-Z for each folder that you have. With the Index you can list all the categories of the files, documents and software that you have, e.g. Financial could go under F, the name of your Bank, the Software that you use to track it with; Software could go under Browsers:N for Netscape, F for Firefox. You get the idea. The Index will list the files that the categories can be found in. Each sheet will have listed what is there and whether it is a single document, a file or software or other. To protect your self keep the index on your jumpdrive and download FreeHideFile and hide the files you deem sensitive, e.g. Financial, Medical, Addresses, eMail addresses and such. I find that I eleminate duplicate files and folders and make backing up files easier, the computer runs faster with less clutter. This is only a small suggestion if you must take a laptop withyou and don't won't people to see the names of all your files etc.
Hugh, , Age: 52
I am a mortgage lender and I can tell you from experience that "The Work Number" has practically no verification of sign up for the service. The only thing they required from us was a credit card. They never asked to see our lending license, business license or anything. Yet the article states they have a verification procedure. It is true however that you must have a code from the employee to verify income.
Steve, , Age: 37
This is the first that I have heard of such a service, but the word is that this small Equifax subsidiary sells information on 1/3 of all Americans. If you W-2 you may be having your information sold without even knowing it.
URL #1: http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/stories/2008/01/18/worknumber_0120.html
Michael, , Age: 36
A co-worker (CW) of mine recently applied for a professional-level job to work for a mid-sized US city (it's also the capital of the state). CW is one of the 6 finalists for the job. Without notifying CW (or presumably any of the other finalists) the local paper did an article profiling each finalist, based on info which would have had to be gleened directly from the resumes or obtained by interviewing someone who had access to their resumes! Not only was the article printed in the local newspaper, but it was also posted on the newspaper's website! Since this newspaper is from the state's capital, it possibly has wider distribution than a regular "hometown" newspaper. The article listed CW's current city of residence, former city of residence (in the area where the new job is located and where CW still maintains a home), CW's current job title and workplace, CW's previous job titles and workplaces, and CW's educational background including the names of the higher level educational instutitions that CW attended! CW is horrified and understandably upset, but doesn't want to rock the boat with either the local newspaper (who CW will have to deal with if successful in the bid for the new job) or the prospective employer. (CW has given permission for me to share this cautionary story with the readers of this website). Yikes!
Linda, , Age: 30's
Wendy, as long as your father puts all of his assets in his Revocable Living Trust, his estate will not be probated. His Trust will simply become irrevocable after his death, thus bypassing the probate laws altogether. The "Will" part of the estate plan is just a way to legally catch any assets he forgets to include in his Trust. Beyond this a will is unnecessary. The willed assets will pass through probate. A will is not necessary if he is thorough about putting everything in his Trust. You mentioned the real concern is the family fighting over his estate after he dies. No estate plan can prevent that. ANY estate planning tool, including a Trust, can be challenged in court. If family fighting is a real issue, a very unusual solution might be for him to make his gifts to his beneficiaries now, while he is alive. He may want to require each beneficiary to agree in writing not to challenge his wishes in return for receiving whatever he wants to give them now. If he owns a house he wants to stay in for the rest of his life, he can get a life estate. This is a legal term that means he does not own the house, but he has permission from the owners to live in it for the rest of his life. They cannot sell it until after he dies. If this unusual idea interests him, I would find a very good estate planning attorney and tax attorney. He will want to thoroughly understand what he is getting into.
Larry, , Age: 40
Linda, I'm with Larry. If you can't set up a nominee bank account, then you should pay your bills in person with cash or via mail with a money order. It's inconvenient but part of the reason we've experience so much loss of privacy in our society is because we've sold it for convenience. Privacy is neither convenient or cheap these days but surely, it's worth it. Certainly, it has been for me and, after just one year at level 3.5 privacy (vehicle still in my name but registered and insured in a far away state) I will NEVER go back...at least without kicking and screaming! The price you pay in inconvenience will be repaid in piece of mind that no amount of "convenience" will be worth losing again!
Wendy, , Age: 44
Pay your recurring bills (such as utility) in person, in cash. Pay at least several months or even a year or more in advance. When your bill arrives every month, it will show a credit. There will be no amount due on the due date shown. If there is no office to walk into, send a money order through the mail. This is time well spent (no pun intended).Be sure you are going to stay where you are for at least the duration of your overpayment. If you move before your credit is used up, you will lose that money because the refund check will not be in your name. Yes, this is very expensive in the near term, but you will save a lot of time, and you will have to spend the money anyway.
Larry, , Age: 40
I use USPS Money Orders whenever I have to send payment through the mail, or the recipient will not take cash. The limit is $1,000 each. I have never had a problem. I follow some rules whenever I use them. I always buy them for average everyday amounts. I try not to buy them for anything close to their limit. If I have to get close or beyond the limit I would buy several from several post offices and different clerks. I would never deposit one in my bank, as it is treated like a check. The details of a money order are not private, as the post office stores canceled money orders ( I think for two years, but they could store them forever if they wanted to) and has the ability to take a picture of each one - both sides. The only real security in a money order is it will not tell the recipient your name or anything about your bank. Amelia, I think the clerk who helped you was just an antsy person in general. If I ever got a clerk who seemed suspicious of me, I would politely say thank you and very casually walk away. I would find a friendly clerk at a different post office, start a light conversation, then ask one or two "by the way" questions. It is always a good idea to make every effort to blend in, even if being different is totally legal and reasonable
Larry, , Age: 40
As I've mentioned earlier, our quest for privacy began when some girlfriends and I did internet searches on ourselves using an online data broker. We were shocked (!) at how much personal information was available on us for a small price (or in the case of zabasearch, our addresses and phone numbers were there for free!!). We immediately researched the situation and bought JJ Luna's book "How to Be Invisible" and the on line version of "Invisible Money" (great book, by the way). Anyway, to make a long story short, we have successfully petitioned the on line Data Broker from whom we obtained our reports to remove from public access all reference to our names, former addresses and phone numbers! For one of us, an alternate address still appears, but since she is virtually unknown there (it's a CMRA), she's not worried (Mr. Luna & other HTBI experts: Should she be?). This Data Broker also owns several other Data Brokers and it appears that by petitioning the first Broker, our information is no longer publicly available at their other websites either. I know this is a small victory, since there are so many other Data Brokers out there, but we've petitioned two others and are awaiting results. We'll let you know if we're successful there, too!
Linda, , Age: 30's
Thanks to the many suggestions on this website, my group of friends and I and I were recently successful in getting our utility bills (energy, cable/internet, phone, cell phone) in our alternate names. Before we embraced HTBI principles, we all had various forms of automated bill pay (charged directly to credit card, autopay from bank account, etc) and each one of us likes the convenience of not having to remember to pay these necessary things, especially our rent payments for which our landlords "take no prisoners" if you're late. Are there any recommended ways to continue our automated bill pay while still following HTBI principles? We've looked into the Visa and Amex gift cards, but the inserts say that they are not for recurring payments. None of us are interested in obtaining nominee banking accounts, mostly because the only people we trust are each other. Does anyone have any practical experience or suggestions with this area?
linda, , Age: 30's
It turns out that even Homeland Insecurity was appalled (and that takes a lot) when they were confronted with their rotten treatment of foreign visitors. See the link below:
URL #1: http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/?cat_id=%2016539&ew_0_a_id=297194
Lewis, , Age: 61
I'm a former spouse of a retired postal clerk. Although the value limit for domestic money orders is US$1000.00, officially, forms need to filled out when the total value purchased exceeds $3000.00 in a single transaction.
I've heard stories when sympathetic USPS clerks who would refer a customer to get back in line to see another clerk to purchase additional money orders, if the limit was close to being exceeded. The other clerks would usually ignore the fact that the customer had already bought many money orders from an earlier transaction.
Of course, this is in Detroit, where many clerks are sympathetic to the lack of local banks in the neighborHOODS!
Hiram, , Age: 70
Certain business and government agencies will only accept money order from the USPS (beside personal check or credit card). Why the above payment options are of benefit to them? Because all three options have ties to personal-banking information and you whereabouts.
USPS Money Orders [cons]: zip code and a serial number that identifies the exact PO location. The register transaction terminal and surveillance camera, date & time, are synchronized. Easy call to the USPS Fraud Hotline while you are waiting in-line at the grocery store. State or Federal identification required to cash at the post office. Some PO demand for identification for purchases of any amount over $200 regardless future posting by other readers! [tips] Send an elderly to purchase the money order or have a nominee in another State buy & send to you.
Walmart Money Grams: purchase up to $1,000 face value and up to $5,000 in one day without identification. Cash at any US Walmart with only a passport or student id. [cons] leaving the money order blank until you get ready to cash in Walmart. [tip] make sure that Walmart calls-in the money order verification (call is to an automated system) before making it payable to 'Walmart'. When everything fails, shred the money order and report stolen for a full reimbursement.
Mike, , Age: 47
As it regards the lady who had trouble with the USPS postal orders, I must say that I've used postal orders for a long time and never had the slightest problem. Of course, they do not issue them in amounts larger than $1,000, but I have routinely approached the counter at many locations and purchased multiple $1000 money orders. The employees have always treated it like I was buying a 41 cent stamp. Of course I don't complete the payee line until I've left. This was as recent as a week ago.
Mark, , Age: 32
I'm not surprised that the post office monitors the purchase of mulitiple money orders. They are probably unders rules like banks. I purchase money orders every month to pay my bills. I don't want my ex and her attorney to be monitoring my purchases or my bank account, so I don't have one. I go to liquer stores and 7-11 stores. Never had a problem & I purchase about 3000 to 5000 each month. The guy behind the counter told me some people come in with much larger purchases. The max is $500. So you get many money orders. Big deal. You can also walk into any bank and purchase one, then go accross the street to another bank. You don't need an account to buy one. I do it all the at BofA. There are banks, liquer stores, 7-11's all over the place. It would be years before you go to the same store. I've been doing this for years. By the way, Merrill Lynch and all brokerage firms have not accepted money orders for years. Since about 2 years after 9-11.
samuel, , Age: 46
I was and am still in shock. Last week when purchasing money orders at the post office (Pennsylvania), I needed a $750, a $350, and a couple of smaller ones. I paid cash, of course, and the postal rep balked at the $750 cash enough I thought. Then after that transaction, I stated that I needed another one but with a separate receipt. She got all nervous and figidty and pulled out a piece of paper (and started writing the transaction information done, I assume the amount, and maybe the order number or something). She asked if I will need more (after the second one) and I said yes, but with separate receipts. She stated that she could only give out so much in money orders in the first place and that once the "limit" was reached, also "I have to fill out forms". I mentioned that "wow, this is not very much money at all" and asked her what the limit was and she gave me a completely blank stare. No answer. She is filling out forms for money orders done with two receipts (which is really two customers, but I believe now that she wasn't supposed to end the total transaction but to keep everything actually linked together until all purchases were complete). But, obviously, the "limit" is probably something along the lines of only $1000 a day (and/or $1000 in cash a day) and/or more asking for separate receipts that is the problem. WOW. For tax purposes, it is entirely natural to want separate receipts if one money order is not tax deductible and the other(s) are. After realizing the "forms" issue, which has got to be Homeland Security or Feds oriented, I was totally spooked and did not buy any more that day. She tried to insist upon it, but I told her I'd get more elsewhere and left. I did notice a flyer about "money laundering" on the shelf and thought that it was odd. I mean, come on, unless someone spends $5000-10000 on money orders during one trip to the post office (and who would have the nerve to do that?), how can up to $1500 even remotely be classified as "money laundering" right? Wrong. You are wondering what I looked like, right? I'm not a minority. I'm not sloppy looking or scary looking. I looked like the managerial sort probably going somewhere for lunch (but I look a lot younger than I am regardless of how I'm dressed unfortunately at times like this). I almost never elicit any suspicion at all no matter what I do (or say, in most cases). However, this area of the country has very strong ties to organized crime (a priest was recently arrested for merely being an acquaintance to a mobster and not revealing that fact). Mailing something to another country and receiving a box from a foreign country freaked out a mail service company here - the owner told me the Feds were there in suits poking around not too long ago regarding one of their box holders, so they seemed really edgy and paranoid in general. QUESTION #1 - does anyone know what the maximum is per day in cash for money orders at the post office? QUESTION #2 - has anyone else experienced anything like this? I will simply buy one money order at one post office and go to another post office a different day for another one and use supermarkets for the lower-dollar ones. What a nuisance. It's my money, eh?
Amelia, , Age: 30
Want to hear something even stranger? If you send money orders to a money market account at Merrill Lynch, they will refuse to accept them!
I was re-reading SKIP COLLEGE: Go Into Business For Yourself and it reminded of a book I read titled 'The Richest Man in Babylon' by George S. Clason. It was put out in the early part of the 20th Century in Pamphlet form and was to encourage people how to get out of debt and stay out of debt. It is a short book and you can find an abridged free version on the net. I enjoy reading it and employing the principles that are put forward.
When you advise to help save money by cutting out [non-]essentials I recall the delicious meals I ate at home growing up - Pot Roast with Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes and Rolls. We rarely went out to eat, even when the MacDonald's moved in across the street. Back then supper time was a family gathering and we talked about what we did that day and what was going on in the rest of the country. The generation of today spend too much time eating out and watching TV. What they are missing from their Parents and Grandparents they will probably never know.
Hugh, , Age: 53
Wear a baseball cap and look down when near cameras. Or carry a tissue and make it look like you're blowing your nose when walking by cameras. Or wear glasses or sunglasses and make it look like you're adjusting them because they aren't fitting properly when walking by cameras so your hand blocks your face. Or just don't face the cameras. Or use a combination of all of the above. The biggest key is to know where the cameras are (or are likely to be if they're hidden). Just keep in mind that you're going to look even more suspicious doing these things if anyone catches on.
Raising suspicion issues aside though, I've made a game out of doing these things for practice every now and then just in case a time ever comes when I do need to worry about cameras (which thankfully I currently don't, and hopefully never do, since I try not to break the law).
Drew, , Age: 30
Unbelievable treatment of a foreign visitor by the Dept. of Homeland Insanity.
She states that the HS agents are "small kings with megalomania." Typical government agent mindset: they have no respect for others but demand respect for themselves. As Steve Martin said in the movie Leap of Faith: "You give a little man a little power, and suddenly the schmuck thinks he's powerful."
URL #1: http://www.sott.net/articles/show/145536-A-young-blonde-Icelandic-woman-s-recent-experience-visiting-the-US
Randy, , Age: 40s
If your corperation makes out a paycheck to you you can always cash it at the bank the corperation uses. But be advised, the next thing the creditor is going to do is check to see if you are listed as an owner of any corperations. This is public information available from the Secretary of State's office in most states. There is nothing that says you must have a bank account in the corperate name. Use cash and keep records on all transactions like your grandparents did.
Fred, , Age: 50
Just read this. Is there any discreet,practical way to confound this, perhaps something more than merely wearing wrap-around sunglasses?
URL #1: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4183902&page=1
Elton, , Age: 33
UPS could have your address from another package that was sent to you in the past. I would not be surprised if their database does a lot of linking of information - older to newer. Has anyone ever sent a US Postal overnight or priority package to that address? There was a time when UPS handled US Postal overnight mail. Information others give to UPS about you when OTHERS SEND you something goes in their database as well, and is probably linked to you. Did you use a credit/debit/gift card with your home address to order from Amazon? If you have never received a UPS package at your address before, and the payment method for the Amazon purchase did not have it, and no other possible reason I listed here seems to apply to you- then I would say there is probably a database somewhere that does have your address and is linked to the UPS database. The county recorder,for example, sells it's real estate information to anyone willing to pay for it.
Larry, , Age: 40
To the person who purchased something on Amazon to be shipped to a POBox but ended up accepting delivery at street address: Many online retailers don't ship to PO Boxes -- eBay for example. It's my guess that, when Amazon/UPS recognized the shipping address as a PO Box, they defaulted to the billing address for your credit card. If your billing address for the credit card is also the PO Box, then they my suggestion is moot. You might have tripped up the system by refusing delivery. Your street address would then most likely be flagged by Amazon/UPS as incorrect and they would have contacted you via email requesting a correction. You could then have given a ghost address for a 2nd attempt at delivery.
Richard, , Age: 50
I purchase from Amazon and have my order shipped to a UPS store! I have a very good casual friendship with the employees at the store. I always come well dressed, polite, and kindly greet each person by name.
A few times a year I send them a "goodie tray" like cookies or just buy them lunch as a way of saying thanks. They go the extra 100 miles for me. I am in a business "forensics" which requires extreme privacy. I shared very little with them but just enough so they know I am not running from everyone. They have my ghost address on file as my main address.
They accept packages for me that come in with initials or even different names. I had someone randomly go in and ask if I had a box there. They told this individual that they had never heard of me, asked who he was, and promptly contacted me. In my mind it is all about building relationships even if they are casual ones. I have helped the local store get information on people who were trying to scam them.
If you use a CMRA, take the time to deliberately work at creating a good relationship with them.
Robby, , Age: 35
Your readers may be interested in what I found out. I went to the Amazon.com website and was able to track the package. The package was picked up by the carrier (UPS) and made its way to a facility in Georgia. Then it was listed as having an incorrect address (P.O. Box #). Somehow, UPS was able to find my street address and delivered it. I am stll baffled as to how they did it.
Mark, , Age: 35
Wendy, Richardson, TX [#3525]. Start your search with the State of Oklahoma. Find a lawyer who not only practice in the fields of estate planning but also in administration, contested estate, trust proceedings, elder law and guardianships. Start by joining a legal community such as w w w [dot] community [dot] lawyers [dot] com / messageboards / list [dot] asp
RE: Mark, Barnesville, GA [#3524]. I have enclosed your local Lamar County Georgia links for your research in hope you find where the leak came from. BTW, if you open a USPS PO Box, there is a chance a courier verify your home address. Do you own a HTBI copy? May I suggest using the book as a checklist to find out what went wrong? Links: w w w [dot] qpublic [dot] net / ga / lamar / - w w w [dot] etax [dot] dor [dot] ga [dot] gov / ptd / county / index [dot] aspx
Jose Rodriguez, Yakima, WA [#3520]. Beside Señor Luna's recommended reading...mijo, you must read 'How To Be Invisible' too unless this is your a.k.a. name?
Theresa Franklin, TN [#3519]. Thank you for the feedback. I have used Net10Phone for almost three years without any problemo.
[remove spaces and brackets from above websites]
Mike, , Age: 47
[Edited for length] To those of you who are highly informed about trusts -- do you happen to know which US state (or states) has the simplest probate laws? My father has a substantial number of assets and is interested in living in where, after he does his revocable living trust and will, probate will be simplest. (He is trying to avoid a fight over his assets by relatives.)
Wendy, , Age: 44
We didn't do a change of address when we moved. Our address is not in the phone book. When I got home, I looked at the box and the label with the street address was on top of a label with my P.O. Box. Inside the box was an invoice with only my P.O. Box listed - no street address. This leads me to think that UPS was somehow able to get the address, maybe from property tax rolls?
Mark, , Age: 35
Incidentally, that is a pet peeve I have about both Amazon and its agents. There seems to be no way to demand that the books be sent by U.S. Mail only, and never by UPS.
I ordered an item off of Amazon.com to be delivered to my P.O. Box. Neither Amazon or the Post Office was given my home address. We recently moved there. My wife just called and said that U.P.S. just delivered the item to our back door. How did the Amazon seller get our address? Did U.P.S. get access to that info from the County? This is really creeping me out.
Mark, , Age: 35
[Edited for length] I have lanscape busines and have save money. I want to be rich before 30. I can pay your fee for consult but only if you can help me? (Sory, I not spell too good.)
Jose Rodriguez, , Age: 18
To answer your question: No, I am unable to help you--or anyone else--whose number one goal is just to make a lot of money. I consider such a goal to be a recipe for failure.
I am not sure whether you read English or Spanish better so here are two links to chapter 8 of my "Skip College" e-book. Study whichever version works best for you and get back to me a year from now, okay?
Nona, thanks for sharing the link. I love meeting other sassy home educators.;)
Here's my lastest experience on cash cards and pay as you go cell phones.
I bought an Am Ex gift card. And it didn't work for an online retailer. After messing around on the Am Ex site, I made sure it was valid and then came back to the website to complete my purchase. It worked...but it was annoying. Nonetheless, I will use this again. (Be sure and remove the sticker with the 3 digit security code---it's on the FRONT of the card in the upper right hand corner.
After trying out three different pay-as-you-go cell phones, Net Ten has worked the best. (Mike has recommended these.) No hassles, no information exchanged.
Whatever phone you purchase though, be sure and check the coverage maps online FIRST to make sure it will work for your locale.
Theresa, , Age: 43
There is an article at Lifehacker that tells about a way to track your lost USB or iPod should they be stolen. There is a Program that you download and install which looks like a simple text document in a root folder. When clicked on when the computer is connected to the net it gives the ISP to iHound which can then give it to the police to get the address. In one of the comments the ISP wouldn't give the address out without some arm twisting, by then it was too late for the laptop but there was a lot of other stolen stuff at the address. Good Guys for privacy, but not for getting your property back.
There are many more items that the site talks about and are worth looking into. Most are either free or have a trial period - 30 days- to test and see if you like the product. I consider it worth reading rather than watching TV.
URL #1: http://lifehacker.com/software/theft/track-your-usb-devices-with-ihound-326787.php
Hugh, , Age: 52
[Edited for length] I have had my personal bank account attached by a creditor. Fortunately, I had no money in my personal account but I have a corporation and all my money is deposited in that business account. As this corporation is relatively new, I want to pay myself and pay payroll taxes, etc but am not sure where I can open up a personal account in which to deposit my check. I had read somewhere that an internet based account might be impervious to creditors. How true is that?
Bob, , Age: 48
I would have to agree with the previous poster about the truecrypt software. It is definitely a potent weapon to have in your arsenal. I use it religiously on every portable drive or device, as well as for backups onto more permanent storage (3 layer cascade of serpent, twofish, and AES used here).
The performance can lag a bit on flash drives if many layers of encryption are used, so it can become a balancing act between acceptable levels of privacy versus speed. The hidden feature that was mentioned before is only one layer of "plausible deniability" that the software provides.
One password activates the outer volume that can contain useless suspicious looking files in case you are interrogated or made to unencrypt the drive by court order, and the other one unlocks the hidden volume where your files really are. The outer volume may be the entire size of the driver that you are encrypting, for example, and the hidden could be the same size or smaller. They actually occupy the same space on the volume, so that if you were in the outer and write to the disk, you can overwrite data on the hidden volume.
You can enable a protection feature when mounting that prevents against this accidental overwriting. Otherwise, its a good rule of thumb to make the hidden volume at least a couple of hundred megs smaller just in case. The other feature that allows for plausible deniability, is that nobody can tell its a trucrypt volume unless you actually run the software, select the volume, and guess the password! This even includes any attempt to examine the drive at any kind of physical layer, or using an actual physical scanning process (Ala NSA).
In addition to a lengthy and complex password, you can employ "keyfiles" which are any file on any device accessible to the program (mp3, txt, exe etc) that can be combined as part of the password. Do you think someone will ever guess your password plus the 9 random key files out of the thousands of directories and hundreds of thousands files that you may have laying around?
Any kind of wiping program is excellent to keep on hand as well. There is a free one called eraser, and then there is always acronis privacy expert. I would use at least the Bruce Schneier algorithm (7 pass), although I prefer the Peter Gutmann (35 pass).
A bootable version on CD is good in case you must run and gun.
Johnny, , Age: 29
RE: Daniel, Minneapolis, MN. Could you please clarify for us how showing your NY identification card to a cop in Minneapolis shows or entitles you to legal domicile in NY?
My posting [#3508] was shared to simply help someone from Boston in maintaining his legal domicile in MASS until he decides to either return to his principal home State or terminate his residency.
Readers might ask, 'what is the big thing about legal domicile anyway'? It's more important than just showing an out-of-state Id card, it's significant in determining in what State a probate of a dead person's estate is filed, significant in determining what state can assess income or inheritance taxes, significant in tuition, significant in where a party can begin divorce proceedings, and significant in deciding whether there is diversity of citizenship between two parties which may give federal courts jurisdiction over a lawsuit.
These are just but a few reasons why a person might consider keeping their legal domicile while temporarily living in another State.
As for your voluntary actions of giving an out-of-state State ID with a knowingly old or wrong address to a police officer might have some implications. Research your MN State Civil Laws prior to showing the ID again because, hint: there is a diffrence in law between you voluntarily "giving the ID" from "the police retrieving the ID from your possessions."
Tip: Next time, instead of voluntarily showing your ID just say out loud "no, no comprendo Ingles" thus forcing the cop to retrieve;-)
A litany of questions and situations experienced by parents who Homeschool and the answers they should memorize.
URL #1: http://www.familyhack.com/2007/11/09/homeschooler-rant/
Nona, , Age: 43
I've been living in the Midwest for over five years but I always used a state identification card from my home state which is New York with an address at a relative's house. When it expires I simply go back to NY and renew it. I use this ID for everything and even showed to the cops before. If anyone asks questions I either give them an ghost mailing address in this state or if it's someone I don't need or don't want contact with I simply give them an old address or just make one up. A police officer asked me why I didn't have a proper state id before and I told them I just moved here and plan on switching in the near future (which I never do)- never had a problem.
Daniel, , Age: 35
I am just wondering if you or any of your readers have any experience with this site: www.willselfdestruct.com?
I ran across this site today and was intrigued by its free service. Any advice you can give would be appreciated!
URL #1: http://www.willselfdestruct.com
Shelly, , Age: 45
I noticed some talk about computer encryption on here. There is a freeware product called 'TrueCrypt'.
An interesting feature is that it can hide a section of space on a memory device that looks like random data, in addition to a normally encrypted section. I have made an encrypted section on a USB drive for personal data, but haven't gotten the 'secret' encrypted part to work yet. Interesting, though.
Just thought I'd pass it along.
URL #1: http://www.truecrypt.org/
Dennis, , Age: 32
RE: Robert, Boston, MA. You shouldn't have any problems pulling this before you leave. Boston is a major metropolitan city with many colleges, universities, and Voc-Tech schools.
Any advice given on this site will depend on how well you blend in your future new community. Are you the obnoxious low-rider driver that vibrates homes with the bass/woofer of your vehicle's JVC system at 1:00 a.m.? Or are you the Chameleon that no one knows?
Here is something that has worked in the past for a chameleon.
renew your DL before leaving Boston. That should give you around 5 years before returning to renew.
enrolled for any online class at the local college and pay the tuition in cash. Make sure you calendar the last day for 100% tuition refund.
get your college ID after paying the tuition which you will use together with you DL (if needed) in your new State.
from your own computer, go to webCT (or whatever your school has to enrolled online) and add another class. Print the registration and carry with you with your new ID.
then drop both class using the school's online service before the 100% refund deadline.
in your new State, have available your school ID, online class registration receipt, DL, and insurance card.
some school will allow you to register online for the following semester (even if you didn't attend the previous one) so repeat the same registration & cancellation steps.
When questioned in your new State, #1. you are a residence of MASS, #2. you continue to be a student of MASS (temporary taking distance classes), #3. you are visiting friends/family in your new State. Another layer will be attending school, as an out-of-state student, in the new State BUT paying the out-of-state higher tuition.
All the above will work until you start working full-time for an in-state employer in the new State. Emphasis added to full-time because working part-time might be consider Co-Op or paid Internship required by your major back in Boston. BTW. I just gave away a little secret on how one can extend a VISA in Eastern Europa, olé torro!
Mike, , Age: 47
"residents without passports may not be allowed into federal buildings "
Does this mean if I have a PO Box at a small town Post Office I'm okay but if I have a PO Box at a medium sized city Post Office I may be denied entry without ID to pickup my mail as of May 11, 2008?
What about a large city Post Office?
Will the USPS be participating in this Federal Building Department of Homeland Security requirement?
How will this affect ghosters who use General Delivery mail at various post offices?
also federal courthouses I do understand. Kind of sneaky of them though if you want to take a privacy suit "all the way to the Supreme Court".
URL #1: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/01/new-real-id-rul.html
Mike, , Age: 28
Robert, it helps, if, like me, you do not to have a permanent address in your the state where you're physically located and no utilities in your name in that state AND you're self-employed. (You can have a mailing address in a pseudonym like I do.) I've kept everything JJL mentions (except bank accounts since I don't have any in my own name anymore) in my previous state of residence and it's not out of the realm of possibility I would ever return there to live. Anybody looking for me thinks I live in that state (based on a database search) and I'd just tell cops the truth, "I don't have a permanent, legal residence here and the last place I lived, legally, was in the state of that DL. I'm here on long-term business and not sure when I'm leaving." I don't mention I'm probably staying because that really could change at any time, right? Now, if you establish a permanent domicile (lease an apt., get utilities, take a full-time, permanent job there, etc.) in your own name in another state, that could be a problem....
Wendy, , Age: 44
John, #3494 is correct.
The credit card Address Verification System (AVS) considers only the numeric portion of a street address and the zip code. It DOES generate a "more favorable" response on 9-digit ZIP codes than 5-digit, but because it is easily confused many merchants set it up to use 5-digit only.
For example, both five-digit and nine-digit ZIP Codes are currently valid. If the ZIP Code for a cardholder is entered into the database as a five-digit number and the transaction information presents a nine-digit ZIP Code, the AVS check reports failure on the ZIP Code match. To protect against this, merchants should set up their systems to include only five digits.
There is even more potential for discrepancy in the way street addresses are expressed. For example, AVS address information for "110 First Street" should be submitted as "110" (AVS address information includes the numeric portion of the street address only), but consumers and banks frequently enter the street address as 110 1ST Street. The AVS translates this as "1101" and reports failure on the address match.
URL #1: http://www.inc.com/articles/2000/06/19976.html
In the past (maybe on this site, in HTBI, or in one of your e-Books) you have said something about being stopped by police, being asked about the address on your driver's license, and that the address was indeed your "legal domicile", so you can answer confidently. How is this "legal domicile" defined? I would like to have a "legal domicile" that may be different from my true home address. Is this possible?
Robert, , Age: 35
Otherwise, keep an address there, a bank account there, your DL there, and at least "think" that you will return to that state to live, some day in the future. Do not take my word for this. Get expert legal advice.
They recently passed a city ordinance here which now requires store owners to require photo identification to purchase ordinary spray paint. Not only do they simply look at the ID to verify who you are, they log it into a notebook, a.k.a. list of suspects, to save for a later date. I simply bring this up to remind people that we live in a time when our privacy is slowly eroding away and it would be wise to listen to and act upon the directions given in your fine book.
Brandon, , Age: 26
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