Quick Change Disguises

Some basic disguise techniques is a good skill to know and very well could save your life.

Now I am not talking the synthetic face, mission impossible type disguises as that is out of financial possibility for most people as well as unnecessary in most cases.

The level of disguise that some one would need to escape from a pursuer. This level of disguise is the art of the quick change. This is the ability to change your appearance in a relatively discrete manner in a short amount of time.

As with most other escape and evasion techniques the first step is to break out of your pursuers line of sight, and then make your move.

In this case you add to, subtract from, or change your outfit in a way to change your appearance while out of sight and then blend in to the crowd and avoid drawing attention to your self as you make your way out of the area and away from your pursuers. Changing your direction once out of site can also aide in your escape.

You can plan a head and plan your clothing in a way that you can perform a quick change or in an emergency you can improvise in the field.

It is relatively easy to build quick change ability into your EDC. You can wear a reversible jacket or throw one in your bag to take with, bring or wear a hat, there are many options.

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Online Infosec Basics

You are the commodity! You’ve probably heard the saying “there is no such thing as a free lunch” well this truer than ever now. Your online personal Infosec is just as important as it is in your in person interactions and passive situations.


With only a few exceptions if a product, or service is free to you this means that the organization putting it out is working on an alternative business model. They are not getting money from their product users so you have to ask where they are getting their money from.


This usually means they are harvesting info from you. This can be addresses, name, phone number or any other personal info. How big a threat to your personal infosec will depend on where on the scale these companies and organizations fall.


On the low end of the scale they are asking for an email to send you a news letter where they will up sell you on paid content or that companies products. This’s is where most small businesses and entrepreneurs is operating including ourselves. They won’t sell your info, they are just trying to conduct their own businesses. The main threat in these instances are data leaks and hacks of either their own systems or any third party service they use to conduct their business.


On the other end you have organizations that will take any and all info they get and sell it. The more info they require the more likely this is the case. This info is likely then, not only used by them but sold to people search sites and other services. This is by larger organizations because they are getting a volume of info that people search sites are willing to pay for. Now not all companies do this and this does happen at everywhere on the spectrum. Do your due diligence and ask your self is what I’m getting worth it if they sell my info.


Now luckily the way to protect your self from both data leaks/breaches and the company them selves selling the information is the same. It’s called one time use information.


This is most easily done with emails as there are multiple services that offer one time use forwarding address. This allows you to create an email address that you will use for only one website or organization that forwards any email sent to it to your actual email address. By doing this you are able to protect your actual email address and if your one time address gets sold, leaked or hacked you are able to shut it off and stop receiving any spam you might be getting and if the information is hacked or leaked, it doesn’t matter because that email is only used for that site and doesn’t connect to any of your other accounts.


This tactic should be used for any newsletter, website, or organization you sign up for or give your information out to. That being said never use these services for anything that involves sensitive information. These services will be able to see any email that is sent to

you so it should not be used for financial, medical, or anything else you consider sensitive. For these instances you should just create a dedicated email for those purposes. We recommend proton mail for a email provider you can find them HERE.

You can either set up a separate account or you can set up a paid account and have multiple addresses that feed into one inbox.

Personal Infosec

A lie is a false statement made by one, to another who is entitled to hear and know the truth and which false statement tends toward injury to the other.



Whether to Lie or not, with only a few exceptions, is a moral issue. This means everyone has to make their own decision on when it is acceptable to lie. Of course with the few exceptions, when telling a lie is in fact illegal.


This applies to protecting your personal information when in person and on the internet and in this day and age your personal infosec is also your physical security.


Does the random person on the subway that started talking to you need to know where you were born, how old you are, where you live, or where you work?


Is this person just a friendly commuter looking for conversation? are they a corporate spy looking for info on a project at your work? or maybe they are a criminal deciding if you are a worthy target or not. The point is you can’t always tell a persons intentions from a single meeting


I am not saying lie to every one who strikes up conversation with you but take precautions and be more vague in your answers until you get to the know the person. Trust but verify.


JJ Luna gives an example of his personal guide lines that he follows in his book How to be invisible.


1. If no harm will be done, and no oath is sworn he gives false information.

2. If an oath is sworn or to be sworn he does not lie.

3. He MAY withhold or not volunteer info to government representatives unless specifically asked depending on the situation but he will not lie.

4.Under no condition whatsoever will he file a false tax return.


This covers most in person interactions but your infosec also applies to more passive situations where you’re not being directly interacted with but simply leave info laying around.

Few people realize how much information about themselves they leave lying around.

This is the bumper stickers, Parking permits on your windshield, the Stickers on your laptop, food wrappers on your floorboards, trash in garbage cans, and info on your face book (not just your profile but in your captions and comments).


From just a persons car you could glean where someone works or lives, where they like to eat, where their kids go to school, political affiliations just to name a few.


These details can all be used to decide whether or not to target you or develop a plan to target you or your family if they have already made the decision to do so.


Most people will say there is no reason to target me or some other form of it will never happen to me. Which statistically may be true, but if something happens and you end up on the wrong side of those stats and you haven’t taken precautions then it’s already too late.


You witness a crime, you cut off the wrong person in traffic, someone begins stalking you or simply being a wealthier than average individual. All are situations that the average person can find them selves in and have led to people being targeted for one crime or another. So make sure to make it as hard as possible for people to get the information about you.

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How to set up a basic secure Browser


As we all should know most websites track or try to track just about everything you do. Some browsers make this easier, some make it harder and some just track you themselves. There are a couple good options to combat this threat. You have the easy ok option for the less tech savvy and the more hands on better option of setting up their own browser for those who are a little more tech savvy. (honestly you type words into a bar and click a button)

The out of the box easy option is called brave browser. It is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software. Brave is based on the Chromium web browser and it blocks ads and trackers. This is good for anyone who doesnt want to mess around in the settings for a little bit and just download and go. However it is not the best set up.

The better set up involves Firefox which a lot of people use already and all you have to do is go tweak a few settings and edit the config file. This involves going down a list and entering text into a search bar and then changing the proper setting that by either entering text or clicking a button. It is really not that difficult provided you have a moderate attention to detail. You will also need to install some additional add ons to make this setup complete but we will cover those in the near future.

Both of these options are not complete and total solutions if you are looking to regain your privacy but they are a good step in the right direction to dam the flood of information that pours out of our systems that everyone it seems is trying to track.

DISCLAIMER: Anything you do with the information in this post is at your own risk, I am not responsible for anything that happens to your computer or browser. As you increase your privacy you also increase the need for your own personal responsibility. I have personally done this multiple times with no issue so as long as you stick to the directions, make sure your changing the right settings and dont mess with anything else you should be fine but again you do this at your own risk. Now that that is out of the way Lets get on with it,


(If you have not downloaded it yet download and install Firefox.)

You will start with the basic settings by going to the preferences section, and changing some or all of the following settings depending on your comfort level, and desire for privacy.

  1. In the general tab scroll down to the browsing section and make sure to UNCHECK Recommend extensions as you browseand recommend features as you browse
  2. In the home options change you home page and new windows and new tabs to blank pagein the drop down menus.
  3. Now in the search options change your default search engine to either duckduckgo or startpage and then remove the others from the options. Then UNCHECK provide search suggestions
  4. Next under the privacy and security options select the strictunder content blocking.
    1. CHECK delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed
    2. UNCHECK ask to save logins and passwords for websites
    3. Change history settings to Firefox will use custom settings for history
      1. UNCHECK Remember browsing and download history
      2. CHECK Clear history when Firefox closes
      3. DO NOT CHECK the box always use private browsing mode(This will break Firefox containers which we will cover in an article on add ons)
    4. In the Address bar section UNCHECK Browsing History
    5. In the permissions section you will need to click Settingsnext to Location, Camera, Microphone, and Notifications. Inside each you will need to CHECK block new requests
    6. Make sure all boxes under Firefox Data Collection and Useare UNCHECKED.
    7. Under Deceptive Content and Dangerous Software ProtectionUNCHECK all options.
      1. DISCLAIMER: This will leave you more exposed to undesired software attacksbut this stops Firefox from sending your browsing history to third party organizations. This is where another instance where personal responsibility plays a roll. You have to decide what you are comfortable with.

Once that is done you can either stop there of continue on for further privacy and security enhancements.


If you wish to continue

  1. Enter “about:config” in the Firefox address bar and press enter. (remove the quotes)
  2. Press the button “Accept the risk and continue”
  3. Follow the instructions below… (keep in mind some may be on the correct setting already but it is good to check each one)

It is not required that you change all of these settings if your particular situation requires any of these settings but the more you change the more secure your browser will be.

Getting started:

  1. privacy.firstparty.isolate = true
    1. isolates all browser identifier sources (e.g. cookies) to the first party domain, with the goal of preventing tracking across different domains. (Don’t do this if you are using the Firefox Addon “Cookie AutoDelete”
  2. privacy.resistFingerprinting = true
    1. This preference makes Firefox more resistant to browser fingerprinting.
  3. privacy.trackingprotection.enabled = true
    1. This is Mozillas new built in tracking protection.
  4. browser.cache.offline.enable = false
    1. Disables offline cache.
  5. browser.safebrowsing.malware.enabled = false
    1. Disable Google Safe Browsing malware checks. Security risk, but privacy improvement.
  6. browser.safebrowsing.phishing.enabled = false
    1. Disable Google Safe Browsing and phishing protection. Security risk, but privacy improvement.
  7. browser.send_pings = false
    1. The attribute would be useful for letting websites track visitorsclicks.
  8. browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo = 0
    1. Even with Firefox set to not remember history, your closed tabs are stored temporarily at Menu -> History -> Recently Closed Tabs. The number is how many tabs it temporarily stores Set this at your own discretion.
  9. browser.urlbar.speculativeConnect.enabled = false
    1. Disable preloading of autocomplete URLs. Firefox preloads URLs that autocomplete when a user types into the address bar, which is a concern if URLs are suggested that the user does not want to connect too.
  10. dom.battery.enabled = false
    1. Website owners can track the battery status of your device.
  11. dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled = false
    1. Disable that websites can get notifications if you copy, paste, or cut something from a web page, and it lets them know which part of the page had been selected.
  12. geo.enabled = false
    1. Disables geolocation (in browser only)
  13. media.navigator.enabled = false
    1. Websites can track the microphone and camera status of your device.
  14. network.cookie.cookieBehavior = 1
    1. Disable cookies

0 = Accept all cookies by default

1 = Only accept from the originating site (block third party cookies)

2 = Block all cookies by default

  1. network.cookie.lifetimePolicy = 2
    1. cookies are deleted at the end of the session

0 = Accept cookies normally

1 = Prompt for each cookie

2 = Accept for current session only

3 = Accept for N days

  1. network.http.referer.trimmingPolicy = 2
    1. Send only the scheme, host, and port in the Referrer header

0 = Send the full URL in the Referrer header

1 = Send the URL without its query string in the Referrer header

2 = Send only the scheme, host, and port in the Referrer header

  1. network.http.referer.XOriginPolicy = 2
    1. Only send Referrer header when the full hostnames match. (Note: if you notice significant breakage, you might try 1 combined with an XOriginTrimmingPolicy tweak below.)

0 = Send Referrer in all cases

1 = Send Referrer to same eTLD sites

2 = Send Referrer only when the full hostnames match

  1. webgl.disabled = true
    1. WebGL is a potential security risk.
  2. browser.sessionstore.privacy_level = 2
    1. This preference controls when to store extra information about a session: contents of forms, scrollbar positions, cookies, and POST data. more information

0 = Store extra session data for any site. (Default starting with Firefox 4.)

1 = Store extra session data for unencrypted (non-HTTPS) sites only. (Default before Firefox 4.)

2 = Never store extra session data.

  1. network.IDN_show_punycode = true
    1. Not rendering IDNs as their punycode equivalent leaves you open to phishing attacks that can be very difficult to notice.
  2. Network.trr.mode = 2
    1. This will be used with encrypted DNS
  3. network.security.esni.enabled = True
    1. also for encrypted DNS
  4. extensions.pocket.enabled = False
    1. This disables the proprietary pocket service.

These all have to do with limiting the risk of leaking your IP address

  1. Media.peerconnection.enabled = False
  2. Media.peerconnection.turn.disable = True
  3. Media.peerconnection.use_document_iceservers = False
  4. Media.peerconnection.video.enabled = False

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How to use a passport for privacy

The passport if an often overlooked basic privacy tool because of the lengthy form and process it takes to get one. This is a mistake. To start off the government already has the info required for you to get one on file somewhere so there is no new info being thrown out. As well, If you are instituting a comprehensive privacy plan then at least some if not most of this info is likely to change in the near future anyway. There is a little bit of a wait and I am not sure what that wait is like due to all the shit in the last year but the wait is normally not that bad and is worth the Benefits the passport provides.

There is a hand full of benefits of obtaining a passport. The most obvious of which is international travel. At least for now this is all you need to travel to most places(at least from your own gov. Visas and other requirements maybe needed for certain countries) However that is likely to change in the near future but we shall see how that plays out.

Now forgetting privacy for a moment just as an emergency/spontinitity preparation its good to have your passport in hand. It could be your buddy drops by and want to take spontaneous trip to Mexico, (though I would try to talk them out of that one) or maybe you have relatives out of country, one of them passes away ad you need to get to the funeral. If you don’t have your passport you may be out of luck if you don’t have adequate heads up.

Now when you fill out the application you should also have the option to get a passport card which fits in your wallet. I personally have not had one but others have made the case for them. As a day to day ID this is likely to be more convenient. It will however not work for international travel in most if not all cases However a passport and passport card are Government issued ID, and must be accepted under any circumstances that requires you prove you’r identity with a gov. Issue ID. The main exception for most people to this will be driving but there may be some others where a specific license is required.

Now the most notable benefit for privacy is that your home address is not present on your passport, in fact no address is, or even a city, unlike most drivers license. Some states do allow Po Boxes on your drivers license and some put your mailing address but they are the exceptions to the rule. However why use an ID that shows any address when you can use one that shows none?

As you will learn more in future articles your home address is the single most important piece of personal information you need to protect. This is the precise location you and your family lay your head down at night and are most vulnerable. Sadly this is probably the hardest piece of information to protect. Using a passport is one step towards this goal and keeps anyone that you have to show your ID to or anyone who may come to posses your ID from being able to learn where you live to later target you.

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To Tell a Lie

A lie is a false statement made by one, to another who is entitled to hear and know the truth and which false statement tends toward injury to the other.


Whether to Lie or not, with only a few exceptions, is a moral issue. This means everyone has to make their own decision on when it is acceptable to lie. Of course with the few exceptions, when telling a lie is in fact illegal.

This mainly applies to your personal information security which in this day and age can also be your physical security. Does the random person on the subway that started talking to you need to know where you were born, how old you are, where you live, where you work, how many kids you have and that you were just promoted to a new project at work?

Is this person just a friendly commuter looking for conversation? or are they a corporate spy looking for info on this new project that they can exploit or maybe they saw your suit and nice watch and want to know where to you live to steal your stuff.

The point is you can’t always tell a persons intentions from a single meeting and I get it most people naturally want to open up and after generations of cultural pressure feel un comfortable lying or even not telling the full story. This can be used to your advantage if you are the one gathering the information but be careful if you are on the revealing end.

I am not saying lie to every one who strikes up conversation with you but maybe be more vague in your answers until you get to the know the person. Trust but verify.

If you are having moral hesitations ask yourself these questions and it light put you at more ease. is there a benefit or a risk to revealing this information and does telling them make you safer or less so?

JJ Luna gives an example of his personal guide lines that he follows in his book How to be invisible.

1. If no harm will be done, and no oath is sworn he gives false information.

2. If an oath is sworn or to be sworn he does not lie.

3. He MAY withhold or not volunteer info to government representatives unless specifically asked depending on the situation but he will not lie.

4.Under no condition whatsoever will he file a false tax return.

These are easily applied in person and can be used for your digital life as well. I have however modified these rules as these days its not so much about giving false info as it is about giving varied info, having sets of information for different purposes and making sure these sets don’t cross over with one another( thats the hardest part) I will cover this in more detail in a future post.

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End to end encrypted messengers

If you want to make sure your communication is private(which shouldn’t even been an if) you need to use encrypted platforms that are zero knowledge. With that ideally this platform would also be open source and decentralized but there are none worth mentioning to my knowledge at this point.

End to end encryption means the out side world cant eavesdrop on your communications zero knowledge end to end encryption means the company or organization running them cant see what you’re saying either. Most companies and organizations encryption are protecting your communications from out side eavesdropping but they leave them selves access so they can still eavesdrop for moderation or marketing research. This also leave the door open for the rouge employee to eavesdrop on conversations for personal gain. In some extreme cases for espionage when the platform is funded by a foreign intelligence service or a rival company.

I recommend wire messenger primarily, I personally have had the best experience with them and a lot of professionals that I trust and have researched the code, and company it self a lot harder than I am able to have checked them out and recommend them as well.

The down sides to wire can easily be overcome. For instance the fact that you need to use an email or phone number to sign up. While this could be a sticking point for some but for most it’s not a big deal and for those seeking more privacy there are ways around it using a more full coverage privacy plan.

An alternative that I recommend and also keep on my devices as a back up is signal messenger. (this is also required to use the haven security app) Signal does requires a phone number.

Below you will find a link to a comparison table of the different “Secure” messengers on the market and how they rate on different important topics. As you will see there is no perfect platform yet and you will have to look at the best options and choose based on where you are willing to make your concessions.


Full Disclosure: No App or platform is full proof, I have seen a few articles today about flaws in signals programing that allow outsiders to intercept messages as well some shadiness of its initial start up funding and developers. While I cannot personally confirm or refute this information about funding we have to take this information into consideration as well as the possibilities of it being misinformation/corporate espionage (to drive away users) as well.

Now as far as the Flaw goes, there is a New York firearms trafficking case where they appear to show signal messages from the suspects. The articles about this flaw are written in a click baity tone that implies the messages are being intercepted (wirelessly). From my understanding this is false.

Not only does the FBI appear to be in possession of the Phones in which case all bets are off any way, this appears to be a flaw in phones security that allows them to crack the phones encryption and unlock it and therefore they can access signal through the phone owners account.

This is not just the FBI there are many private individuals and obviously companies with the know how and tech to do this as well if they physically posses your phone. Keep this in mind if you are a targeted individual such as an investigator, operator, company executive, head of security, celebrity or just a wealthier than most individual.

The best counter to this threat is to ensure physical security of your device, if they allow an app pin or pass word turn it on, and make sure the self deleting messages is turned on in which ever app you use. It would have saved tiger woods and it can save you too. All jokes a side self deleting messages will limit the amount of messages and information that can be gathered by anyone who posses your phone and manages to get it unlock.

We are currently developing our free email course and hope to have it live soon. Email content will simultaneously posted into a messenger group(along with some group only content that we are starting as well. We are currently testing multiple platforms to see which will work best but as we recommend people use it, we are planning for it to be on wire. So stay tuned for the launch notification post that will explain it in detail.

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Juice Jacking

You have to be careful using your electronic devices in public especially when it comes to charging. Your probably wondering what possible threat there could be charging my devices in public. Believe me the threat is there.

Device charging cables especially tablet and phone cords can transmit data not just electricity to charge the battery. This is a huge security risk as more and more people store their financial and personal information, itineraries, medical records/data and everything damn near everything else on their phone.

This ability to transfer data means that when you plug into a public charging station there is the possibility that a third party could be harvesting data from your device or installing malware on to them.

The best thing you can do when you charge your phone in public is to make sure you plug into an outlet with your charger not directly into a USB port. This should eliminate the threat of data transfer via the charging cable. This is especially important if you are in a profession that tends to be highly targeted by hackers and criminals, or if you in a privileged position of a company and have access to more sensitive business information.

Another option that is available these days is a buffer of shorts that you plug you USB cable into before plugging it into the charging station. These are made generally to break the connection of the data terminals in the USB plug as well as alert you if data can be transferred by the plug your plugging into. (usually by a small LED light.) These can serve as a back up option if the location your at doesn’t have plain electrical outlets available. However I have not tested any of these first hand but they are on my list for the future.

A third option and currently the back up that I tend to lean towards is simply to have a back up battery pack with you. These devices are increasing in efficiently almost daily and getting smaller and smaller cause very little if any inconvenience to throw one in your bag when you travel to charge your phone if need be. The one I have is about the size of my cell phone in its case but allows me to charge my phone an additional 3 times. There are even those out there that store enough power to charge a laptop and are only about the size of paper back book.

The other main threat to data theft and malware in public is the WIFI. If you connect your phone or computer to a public wifi source this connects you to every device that is also connected to that wifi. This means that any device or user that is on that wifi can possibly access your device steal data, install malware and/or eavesdrop on your data traffic.

One defense to this threat is to not store any data on your actual device and keep it stored on an encrypted cloud service or server you can access remotely, although this is not always an option for most people. An alternative and/or additional defense is to use a trusted VPN. This will drastically limit the data traffic that can be eavesdropped upon by other users or the owner of the wifi. (see our trusted resources for our recommendations)

When paired with not keeping any data/files on your device, this means that there is nothing on the device for them to access, and you have drastically limited what traffic they can see, (they probably will be able to see that you are connected to a VPN but not much if anything beyond that. This however doesn’t completely eliminate the threat of them installing malware or other programs on your device.

This is done by firewalls installed directly onto your device. They can limit or eliminate outside connections to your device without your say so and alert you to attempts to connect to your device. This however is beyond the scope of this article and is something that we will cover in the future on its own.





Using the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar for Travel Safety



     I love the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar, there are plenty of reviews out there that deep dive into the watch and its specs and features so I am going to focus on the watch from its travel and safety aspects and benefits.


     The obvious benefit is having a GPS attached to you in case of emergency. The GPS doesn’t require cell service from your phone should you become separated from it. The battery life is great for a smart watch and I get about 20 days on a charge on average.


     The big aspect for safety is a feature called Assistance. Assistance is going to be one of the few “safety apps” that I will recommend but only for a specific situation. Assistance works by having a hotkey set on the watch that when you press and hold it, will notify your emergency contact(s) that you designate in the Garmin app via SMS text that you are in trouble. When they are notified it will send them your GPS location as soon as your watch acquires the satellite connection.


     This will not help you in the moment and does not substitute the need for getting training in self defense, but should for instance you get taken it will give your contact the information needed for the authorities in the area that you are traveling in start the search. It will also allow them to track you as long as you can keep the watch on you.


     As you can probably tell this is going to require that you turn on the GPS access to your watch so that others can see it. This is called LiveTrack  in the Garmin platform. Now provided you set up your phone securely which will be covered in depth at a later date, you can set this up in a relatively private manner

that I will cover at the end to mitigate and data collection that Garmin may

do, though to this point from dealings with them and their policies I have seen no evidence of data collection done in a way that releases personal information. That being said I still make it a point to anonymize my data my self as much as possible.


     For this to work it does require that your phone have cell service as it needs to connect to the app to notify it to send the text message. The text message is sent from a third party number (not your own) This means that you should talk to your emergency contact ahead of time which you should be doing anyway.


     Setting it up requires that you opt in to the LiveTrack. This allows Garmin to send your GPS location to your emergency contact.



You will then need input a name and city/location inside the

assistance settings in the Garmin app. As you can see from my pictures, That can be an initial and just about anything for location.

The name is used in the text message to Identify you in the message to your contact and I have not been able to pinpoint what the location input is used for.



     You will then enter your emergency contacts, which can be a maximum of three who will all receive the emergency text should you press the button. As you can see you can also put as little as an initial to keep your Contacts privacy as protected as possible as well.


     The picture below is an example of what the text message will look like. In this case my watch didn’t have GPS on at the time but is activated when you press the button so when the GPS is acquired it will then send follow up text with your location information. You can see the text justs says “may need help” because of this you should talk to your contacts ahead of time and decide what it means if they get the message ad what they should do.



     You can opt out of LiveTrack at any time and it will shut off the assistance functionality.

My set up


     I always err on the side of privacy when I set up anything so I personally keep the LiveTrack functionality turned off 90 percent of time in my day to day life.

     I will turn on the LiveTrack and set up the assistance each time I am headed on a trip to an area that concerns me enough that I feel the functionality is warranted. I have ahead of time let my emergency contact(s) know that I am setting them up in the app.

     We then cover what it means if they get the message and what they should do. In my case I let them know that If I am going to activate the watch its most likely that I see something coming or that an incident has already happened. This is because if I don’t have time to activate the watch before something goes down I’m not going to waste time trying to activate it. I tell them they should wait 5 minutes and if I havn’t shut it off or contacted them directly to notify the authorities in the area I’m in or a specific number if I want them to contact someone specific.

     Then once I am back from the trip or feel it is no longer needed I will shut off the LiveTrack access to keep any unnecessary access to my GPS location to a minimum.



     Through out my testing I ran into no bugs or miss hap with activating the assistance, the only bug I encountered early on was One time I activated it I couldn’t get it to shut off and had to re set the watch and app. Not going to be a big deal if your wanting the assistance activated.


General Review



     If you are looking for a good review of the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar to look into its other features suck as activity tracking, Compass, and its other outdoor feature I personally used this review from DC Rainmaker https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/08/garmin-fenix6-pro-solar-series-review.html to make my decision.

Sweeping a room for Cameras


Some of you may have seen the headlines about Airbnbs many safety concerns, among them is a hiden camera problem. However this is not a problem that is exclusive to Airbnb, this is a world wide problem that happens in major hotel chains as well.


The people that are installing these hidden cameras do so for a variety of reason. Some for…….. personal……. enjoyment we will say, others for blackmail purposes and for an example, one that is mostly overseas, there is reportedly a dark-web site that you can log on to and pick a hidden camera, like a tv channel, and stream live hidden video from all over the world.


Booking your accommodations anonymously is the best route to take because even if you are recorded then they cant really black mail you cause they don’t know who you truly are. We will cover this topic in depth at a later date as it could take multiple articles and still not cover all the possibilities.


For today we are going to stick with how to sweep your hotel room/ Airbnb as this can and should be done whether you renting anonymously or not.


You should start before you even book the reservation. Do your research into the property or hotel. Read reviews and search the address on search engines. 5 basic issues to check for can be found here.


You can also check sites like trip advisor however there has been some controversy surrounding Trip Advisor and Airbnb as of late. They have been accused of deleting negative reviews of properties even when they bring up possible safety concerns. So trust your gut and if something doesn’t feel right find a different place to stay.


If you read that article from the Atlantic linked above you will see that Airbnb allows hosts to place cameras in their listings as long as they are following some rules.


Airbnb’s rules allow cameras outdoors and in living rooms and common areas, but never in bathrooms or anywhere guests plan to sleep, including rooms with foldout beds. Starting in early 2018, Airbnb added another layer of disclosure: If hosts indicate they have cameras anywhere on their property, guests receive a pop-up informing them where the cameras are located and where they are aimed. To book the property, the guests must click agree,indicating that theyre aware of the cameras and consent to being filmed.


So during your booking process you should have been made aware if there are cameras in the house in the common areas…..if the host decided to enlighten Airbnb to their presence. I personally would not be staying anywhere that posted that they had cameras on the property but that is just me, you will have to make your own decision on that.


Now lets say you’ve booked your stay, you made the trip, you’ve checked in and your walking up to the door. Hotel doors all look pretty much the same with key card or keyed locks. Many Airbnbs, like many home owners, have started installing camera/intercom door bells. There are some privacy issues with these door bells, not from the Airbnb host who is only going to be able to watch you as you come and go, but from the company producing the product. Nothing criminal or unethical on the homeowners part just something to be aware of.


Now your inside the Airbnb or your hotel room. Which ever one your in will dictate how long this process will take, but either way the process is the same. Pick a starting point. I like to start from the door and just work my way in. Others do the opposite and like to start in the bathroom and work their way out. From there its entirely up to you. Just pick a way that you are not going to skip or forget to check somewhere.


Now start by checking any objects that are out in the open. This can include clocks, pictures, tissue boxes/ decorative covers, are hanging on the wall etc. Look them over, check behind/underneath them, check for memory card slots, extra wires, visible camera lenses, antennas that don’t make sense and anything that just doesn’t feel right.


Next check anything plugged into outlets. Cameras are often disguised as air fresheners, plug in smoke or CO detectors, chargers, basically anything the average person might not think twice about. Look them over for the same things you checked for with things that were out in the open. Now check things attached to the walls and the outlets themselves.


Now Im not saying start taking things off the wall and messing with wiring! Just like looking for a card skimmer at a public ATM give them a wiggle plug in a charger or something to make sure the outlet actually has power. Same goes for cable outlets in the walls smoke detectors, wifi routers etc.


The cameras that the average person might come in contact with will likely be found by this method. The people putting these cameras in place are not professionals and they are counting on the general obliviousness that the general public walks around with these days to hide the cameras for them. So if you haven’t found anything suspicious or obvious cameras, you are probably good to go and enjoy your stay.


You can also buy a scanner and scan for wireless frequencies, though one that will actually do the job will run you a minimum of $200 and a good one closer to $300-500. I have no personal experience with theses devices but have heard mixed reviews from sources that I trust.


Scanners in this price range will not find high end cameras that would be implemented by your typical government agencies or used in corporate espionage. Equipment to detect those devices would run in the thousands and with a few exceptions not the most likely threat you will face as an average citizen.


If this is your concern your department, agency, or company likely has an in house team or someone that they work with to sweep for bugs and cameras.



Now lets say that you swept your room/Airbnb and found one or more cameras. When you checked in there was no warning about the cameras and they are/or they are not within Airbnb’s policy. Or your in a hotel room where there should be no cameras anyway.


Step one is to make sure you are safe, if you do not think that you are safe collect your belongings and get some where that is safe. Do not hand over the cameras or memory card to anyone from the hotel or

Airbnb because you then loose any and all evidence that it occurred.


At this point if you are stateside contact law enforcement and file a report as they are the only person I would turn over the cameras to.


If you are abroad contact your consulate and do what they recommend. In most countries that will involve calling the local law enforcement.


For Airbnb contact them as soon as you can and they may help you find new accommodations. (disclaimer I have yet to find a contact phone number on their site so you will have to contact them through their online form/process and it may take them some time to get back to you. Mentioning you are in contact with law enforcement may speed up that process).


For hotels contact the front desk and demand to talk to the manager.


The likelihood that you will be in a room that has hidden cameras in it generally is quite low. However this is still a threat that you should take quite seriously, just because the chance is low doesn’t mean it cant happen to you.


Think about it, how many people that have been struck by lighting thought it would happen to them? Probably not that many. Now the more you travel, the higher that chance becomes simply because you staying in more places. The more times you roll the dice at some point your gonna get snake eyes.