If you Like HowToVanish on Facebook then we will give you one of the $2-3 30 page Mini-Guides for free. Just send us a message on Facebook and let us know which one you want: (1) Financial, (2) Political or (3) Personal.

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Starting To Vanish – The Beginners Steps To Controlling Their Privacy

Reading time: 8 – 13 minutes

Starting to vanish can seem like a massively complicated project. Please do not be intimidated by the hundreds of pieces of in-depth content on all kinds of topics here at How To Vanish which has become a massive compendium and one of the premier sources on the Internet to help you take control of your privacy.

But if you are new here, then you may feel overwhelmed and be wondering, “Where in the world do I start?”

We try to give practical and actionable tips with as much value as possible to solve the particular issue or circumstance. Sometimes the tips are basic. Sometimes the tips are complex. But we never take your time or attention for granted with fluffy time wasting suggestions.

Our articles and videos also cover threats to privacy. Sometimes this includes analysis of a law or court case, actual or potential uses of some technology or just current trends or events.

But all of the posts are written to help you protect your privacy, decrease your risk of being an identity theft victim and doing some completely legally so you do not break any laws.

eight steps to vanish

1. Consider subscribing to the free email list because we will never SPAM you, you can easily unsubscribe whenever you want and you will get six major benefits.

First, you will receive the Free Privacy Guide that contains five easy ways to increase your privacy and is a quick introduction to actionable items you can do for free right now. Second, you will receive a few of our best articles every week curated into specific topics. Third, whenever we publish a new article you will receive an update and be among the first to know and implement the tactics.

Fourth, sometimes we ask for suggestions on topics to address so let your questions fly and be addressed. Fifth, when we release new products we usually give email subscribers an opportunity to purchase first and at a discount. Sixth, you will be able to hear from us if we have conferences, speaking engagements, discounts, or other stuff in general that we do not want to release to the public.

2. Get acquainted with Bitcoin. We were among the first popular blogs to write about and recommend Bitcoin on 17 January 2011 in Bitcoin – The Best Financial Privacy Is Probably Here … Probably and have been applying it to controlling privacy ever since. Bitcoin will become one of your most powerful tools because it makes so much possible.

3. Read a few of the most popular posts. If a lot of other people have found them useful, maybe you will too.

4. Consider watching some videos at How To Vanish TV. These are often included in articles we write as examples or solutions but you may feel like going through the playlist anyway.

5. Consider buying How To Vanish The Book. The articles in this site are random, on hot topics, or about whatever I happen to be thinking about at the time. The book is well organized to cover every area of your life and meet any budget. It shows you how to best protect your privacy by weighing the costs in terms of time, money and convenience. It is a holistic approach to privacy for your daily life.

But do you really want your credit card or Paypal account to show you purchased a book called How To Vanish? Of course not, that defeats the purpose! So consider getting our Free Bitcoin Guide to help with your learning curve. That way you can effectively vanish any traces of your purchase of How To Vanish The Book.

6. Check out our products store. Our products treat in-depth individual topics on a wide range of issues and may help you solve a particular issue or problem facing you. Some contain thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars worth of legal research. They are all designed to either give you some great information or show you how to make or keep more money.

In many cases, you can hand them to your attorney or accountant and save many times the cost of the product from their billable hours for research. They all relate to privacy so you will see how broad privacy hygiene can be applied.

7. Do not forget the search bar under the videos in the upper right of the site. You can search for specific topics that may be addressed in an old post.

8. The Archives section is also extremely helpful. You can quickly scan many different article titles to find something appealing.

9. The more people who apply privacy hygiene the safer and more private we all because you could protect your privacy only to have one of your friends inadvertently breach it. Even Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, complained about a family photo being posted to Facebook and the shared with the public.

So please consider sharing our content with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. This should stir some interesting discussions and help all of us be safer by employing privacy hygiene practices.

And to incentivize you, if you Like HowToVanish on Facebook then we will give you one of the $2-3 30 page Mini-Guides for free. Just send us a message on Facebook and let us know which one you want: (1) Financial, (2) Political or (3) Personal.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The Drifter is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting from the University of Utah and a law degree from California Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and financial freedom and civil liberties. This is merely one article of 8 by .
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bill May 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I read your insightful article, titled, “Can You Be Prosecuted for Using Gold or Silver? – Liberty Dollar”. You mentioned that one can legally use gold and silver to barter, but you didn’t mention if there are tax consequences to such transactions. For example, could IRS impute a value to the silver used in a transaction, even if no one knew what the value of the silver was when it was originally purchased. In other words, would a capital gains tax on the increase in silver value over time be imputed by IRS? Thank you….Bill

2 Bill Rounds J.D. May 24, 2011 at 12:40 am

Hi Bill,
Yes, there are capital gains taxes that apply when bartering with gold and silver. You will have to justify your tax treatment of transactions to the IRS. Generally, either the dollar value of the metal or the dollar value of the item or service being traded is the applicable amount. Thanks for the great question!

3 tim September 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

after signing up, I saw you are tweeter.
facebook owns anything you put on there, does tweeter not do the same?

which at any time can be handed over when told to by .gov.

last I heard about only one that said no was gmail. is this not true?

4 Bill Rounds J.D. September 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Hi Tim, The only tweets that I send out are information that I post publicly on HowToVanish.com, so I am not worried about government surveillance of that material. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in material made public, like information published on a website or on Twitter.

Private communications, like emails sent in your gmail account, should be private. There is a catch, however, because we must trust a third party to deliver private communications sometimes. Third parties, like ISPs, email providers, phone providers, etc., can betray and reveal information, especially when there is no requirement that they keep information confidential.

There is added problems because government regulations, like National Security Letters and electronic communication regulations, prevent third party providers from refusing to reveal information. They have basically been commandeered as state secret police.

The best way to protect private communications is to use encryption and other tools we talk about on this site and in the book to keep information from third parties. Even though your intended audience could betray your communications as well, at least they are not compelled to do so like communications providers.

Thanks for you comment.


5 Kris December 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Just read the article on Expatriation. I am wondering if the issue is leaving the US as the corporation and NOT US the land. I think there is a huge difference. My understanding is that most of us are US citizens with our names in all capital letters. When we leave this corporation called the UNITED STATES, we are no longer their slaves, I mean members of the corp. We then automatically become American citizens, not all caps, because we were born here. And we are free. You might want to check this out further.

6 Bill Rounds Esq. December 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Hi Kris,

I think your idea is interesting and creative, but unfortunately it is not that simple. There is really no legal basis for that kind of argument at common law or in any statutes. Courts have not recognized any distinction between being a UNITED STATES citizen and an American citizen. I strongly caution against using arguments that have little chance of acceptance by a court, no matter how philosophically or theoretically sound. Courts regularly reject these kinds of arguments so relying on them could cause more trouble than it would be to go through the legally recognized procedure for expatriation.

The article he was referring to can be found here: Article On Expatriation

Thanks for the comment. I hope I was able to clear the issue up for you.


7 tony January 15, 2013 at 11:11 pm

can I survive and prosper without any documents? (legally?) if my income is not above the poverty level of 9,600 dollars? am I required to file even if I have no taxable income? am I required to have a mailing address or box for receiving mail?

8 Trace Mayer, J.D. January 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Tony, those are some complicated questions. I will not address the filing requirements and taxable income. As far as surviving and thriving; I think Satoshi Dice is a good example of a business doing so. It has no mailing address or box to receive mail, does not interact with the banking system and can pay all of its expenses in Bitcoin. With the new tablet apps it will be able to continue functioning even if the domain gets seized. In Dec 2012 Satoshi Dice had approximately $230,000 of net income; in a single month.

So yes, it is completely possible to survive and prosper and yet be a complete ghost.

9 Scarlet March 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm

I recently stumbled upon the website and am absolutely intrigued. I do have a few questions that i have not seen discussed yet.
In regards to name changes, i know legal name changes cannot erase credit history or criminal records. this is not intentions anyways.
however, if the goal is to disappear from a relative, one whom would hold my SSN, how useful would name change be with of course taking all the other right steps of privacy?
Name changes are available on public record, but on a national basis? or just state basis?. If i file in in the state of legal residence and then move to another, would this even be beneficial?
i would remain off all kinds of paperwork and any addresses for a least a few months (which i can do until funds become low and new employment must be obtained).
sorry for the bombardment but help is much appreciated!!

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