This is a very long article. My apologies in advance. Most of what I suggest will have to be done in steps. This means finding a place you want to live and first getting a po box and going from there. Before I start, nothing I say here should be construed as legal advice. If you have any questions as to the legality of anything posted here consult an attorney.
This is a secondary post to my article about sites like truthfinder, intelius, beenverified, etc. In this post, I’m going to talk about hiding. You might ask why you would want to hide. Aside from the privacy issues and wanting to escape prying eyes there’s also people(women in particular) that want to escape stalkers and others and don’t want these people knowing where they live and don’t want it to be as easy as paying a few dollars and having that information. To be honest, you don’t want the whole internet knowing where you live. All you have to do is annoy someone in a forum to find yourself dealing with harassment.
Unfortunately, today, your personal information is as easy to get as picking up the phone and ordering a pizza and anyone with a credit/debit card can have your personal information.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are steps you can take to make yourself more difficult to find. Let’s start with the basics and where most information is obtained and that’s through people search sites. These sites use your address information from the headers obtained from credit reporting agencies like equifax and experian and these companies sell your information to whatever business is willing to pay for it. The same for your bank, credit card companies and any other place where you supply your home address. Since all credit card companies demand a physical address to be in compliance with the patriot act you have to give them a physical address. If you’re truly trying to hide you can use mailboxes etc where you’re given a physical address. There’s one problem with this however, if the bank asks you to send them a copy of your drivers license, not only will you be denied the credit card, they will submit your home address to a consumer reporting agency. There’s goes staying private. This brings me to number two on staying private, if you haven’t already update your drivers license to an address where you don’t live preferably on the other side of the state. And update your mail to a post office box. For this a regular PO Box will do. This should all be done before you move. If you’re being stalked you already know the only way to stay safe is move out of the area you currently live. This can be difficult especially if you have family. But you don’t have to move across the country. A town a couple of hours away should suffice. If your stalker can find you two hours away he can find you twelve hours away. And a truly motivated stalker will get on a plane if need be.
Driving records can often be purchased by anyone with enough personal information so this is a good reason to use an address other than one you actually live at. Just make sure the address exists and you have all information correct such as zip code, etc. Some may be thinking, “but what if I get pulled over, I can’t lie to an officer he’ll know and I will get a ticket.” First off, unless you get stopped every week he’s not going to know you live there. When he runs the address information his computer tells him if the address is accurate. To further protect yourself in case he asks questions, know who owns the property. That info can be gotten by going to any county property records website or calling the courthouse. As for the ethics of what you feel about lying to a law enforcement officer remember he’s not going to protect you if your stalker comes calling. And if you give your correct address that will end up in your driving record.
Okay, you know you should use a post office box when applying for credit cards, loans, bank account, car insurance(you must use the false physical address for this too) etc. You must use a post office box for everything. That includes employment, statements, everything where you enter an address. This is a must. If you want to get magazines, etc. get an extra big box. This box should preferably not be in the town you’re going to live. Your box will show up in the people search sites too. You don’t want your stalker showing up to the town you live and asking around until he gets a general idea of where you live or finds your workplace. The box should be at least 30 miles away or more and preferably two counties away or if you live on a stateline get the box over the line. If your stalker knows your line of work there’s nothing to stop him from calling various places until he finds you. There’s nothing you can do about this unless you tell them there’s a nickname you go by. Again by having a box forty miles away he/she will likely start his/her search in the post office box town.
To make things easier for yourself, buy a big box and go paperless everywhere you can. This way you can go further away and only check the box once every month or two.
This goes without saying but if you have social media accounts(and contrary to what most say about not having them and hiding even on the internet(this is a fallacy, you can’t hide, even elderly folks who’ve never touched a computer are online) don’t put your real location in those. Unfortunately, many are making you use your real name and all it takes is one tattletale to get your facebook profile pulled down. Twitter does allow you to use something other than your real name or just a first name. This is your opportunity to make good use of falsifying information. Don’t put where you work. You can change it to something you don’t do or leave it blank. Just don’t be too creative. For where you live, you can use the post office town but my recommendation is to use something else. Here you can put it anywhere. Just be sure to use the same information on every social media site you have an account. You want your stalker to think your dumb enough to tell the world where you live and work.
As for your own photos you need to strip them of the geolocation info. If you don’t know how to do that don’t put any personal photos up. Honestly, I recommend putting none up of yourself. If you’ve decided to change your appearance you don’t want your stalker to see it.
Keep your privacy settings high. Don’t allow automatic tagging or anyone else posting to your timeline but you. Keep your friends and followers list private. If someone can’t find you by looking at your information they can find you by looking at your friends and/or posing as an old friend. If you post via a phone keep location turned off or manually enter a location. Otherwise your phone may post your location. If you have kids and they have social media accounts make sure they understand to do the same thing. And make sure they only add people they know in real life. Know all of their friends. And everyone on their friend/follower lists.
On your way out of town you may want to consider trading your old car for another. One your stalker won’t recognize and if he’s put GPS tracking on the car he’ll be tracking someone else. Close all your bank accounts and don’t use the same bank in your new town. Don’t use a moving company. Avoid applying for housing until you have secured your new post office box. As soon as you have yourself set up in the new town close that box and get another one somewhere else. Utilities can be tricky. You can be traced through those too. If you can find someone to live with this may be preferable. Or use a variation of your name and a different SSN. I know this one is not legal but you’re trying to hide from someone who may kill you. This is something that will have to be planned for and done in advance of moving. You’ll have to get a credit file opened for the name and SSN you use so you will have to apply for credit cards. Remember, you’re not trying to get the card so use income that’s so low it will guarantee you don’t get the card. You can put any figure in there. $1000 a year will do and they won’t even consider issuance of credit. Regardless of what you’ve heard the information won’t show up on the actual SSN holder.
Another tricky one is medical records and health insurance. These are harder to obtain but can be. Since it’s almost impossible to use a different SSN and not recommended(it is medical identity fraud), if you’re a woman you can use a different last name(not one the stalker would think of). This is morally unethical but not really illegal unless you plan on not paying the bill.
Most importantly, don’t tell friends or family where you’re going when you leave and keep it private as to where you live exactly. This post office town applies to everything and everyone. This is the unfortunate downside to living with a stalker. You can’t trust that those around you will keep their mouths shut. All it takes is them telling one person who passes it to someone else.
I’m sure I may have forgotten something. Be smart, be safe and use your fake address and post office box for everyone and everything. Don’t trust anyone.