Development & Education

How to Disappear in the Digital Age

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Digital footprints can help you disappear, says skip tracer Frank Ahearn. (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Frank Ahearn knows a thing or two about privacy.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

He made a career of finding people: collecting debts; serving papers; locating spouses who've skipped town.

Reverse-engineered, this has also made Ahearn something of an expert on disappearing and led him to a new career: helping people drop off the grid.

In fact, he's written a book on it, called not surprisingly "How to Disappear."

You can't just up stakes and leave, he says. It takes a lot of planning.

The first thing you have to do, he says, is figure out how to make a living when get where you're going.

The next thing is to plan your misinformation and deception campaign.

The trick, says Ahearn, is to plant false trails, for example by incurring bogus credit charges and making apartment applications in a different location to where you've moved.

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