Intriguing is an apt descriptor of How to Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, and Vanish without a Trace by Frank Ahearn and Eileen C. Horan. The book does leave the reader with a feeling that there should be a disclaimer like “Don’t try this at home” or “The people writing this book are professionals,” but much of the information could be used to keep people more protected in the both the digital and real worlds.
The authors are skip tracers and if you are unfamiliar with that term, they provide a definition. Skip tracer: a person who tracks people down and uncovers private information for a living. Targets include jailbirds, deadbeats, subpoenaed witnesses, and just about anyone else who’s trying to hide.
With the briefest of Internet searches, the authors do appear to be some of the top skip tracers in the field.
The book is pushed as an “authoritative and comprehensive guide for people who seek to protect their privacy, as well as for anyone who’s ever entertained the fantasy of disappearing – whether actually dropping out of sight or by eliminating the traceable evidence of their existence.” It seems like a good starting point for people looking to become more private in their day-to-day lives.
The book concentrates on these three areas: misinformation by destroying all the data known about you; disinformation by creating fake trails; and reformation the act of getting you from origination to destination without leaving any clues.
The book provides numerous tips and tales of the author’s experiences, but doesn’t detail how to create a completely new identity in a new location, which seems like a critical piece to disappearing; it mostly shares how to leave false trails with dead ends so that those looking for you are less likely to find you.
The book does offer good advice in the chapter called “Disappear from a Stalker,” with beneficial information and tools for those needing to safely get on with their lives, and the authors seem genuinely interested in helping those being pursued.
How to Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, and Vanish without a Trace is an easy and entertaining read that does offer valuable information about protecting your privacy. If you are considering purchasing the book, heed the author’s advice and buy it with cash.Powered by Sidelines