The origins of our Perpetual Traveller Overseas Blog derive from the original Perpetual Traveller or PT concept created by W.G. Hill (a pen name) who wrote the infamous "5 Flags Theory" which advocates a system for truly international orientated people to organise different facets of their lives to fall under the jurisdiction of a number of countries otherwise known as flags. The fundamental [urpose of this theory was to minimize governmental interference (either from taxes or otherwise) or to maximize privacy of the individual.More about the "5 Flag Theory" in the future, however this particular article focuses on the aspect of privacy.
Since the birth of the Perpetual Traveller concept we have endured the dark era of Bush and Blair, which brought the "War on Terrorism" that was manipulated as the ultimate excuse to decrease civil liberty and individual privacy in many parts of the western world. Strangely it was the last bastion of freedom itself "The Internet" that has actually eroded ones personal privacy in many respects, more than any other factor, which is due to nothing more than than the Social Media revolution.
At the point of dispair there is suddenly a glimmer of light, following the credit crunch and a change of politics with the recent emergence of Obama, Cameron and Clegg in the Political arena of the US and UK at least. There are encouraging signs of respect of individual privacy coming from the UK in particular, however if you are a decent individual living in the western world at this moment in time and you are concerned about your privacy, here are some essential tips...
1. Do not sign up to Facebook.
This social media giant simply does not respect individual privacy. They make it by design hard to delete an account and all of your information is left wide open. If you insist on maintaining an account we advise you not to publish your address and personal details. The trouble with the Internet is that when you publish something it stays with you for life, so we suggest caution when signing up to social media accounts and in particular to be careful with Facebook.
To check what information is currently already published for the world to see on the Internet about you, go to http://www.123people.com/ you may be surprised what information has been accumulated about you online!
2. Be aware of identity freud
This is possibibly the fastest growing crime of all in the western world and you can trust few with your private details, especially documents, bank accounts, credit card details and the like. If you use a credit card to make payments online, dedicate one particular card to this function and use it exclusively for the Internet and check statements and payments carefully. For all other transactions made for physical commercial, we suggest a CHIP and PIN facility and never be tempted to utilise this credit card for the Internet. Some banks offer a service whereby everytime you use your credit card a text message is sent to your mobile phone seconds aftet he purchase is confirmed. This service offers peace of mind, because one knows that no freudulant charges can be made without you instantly receiving a text message. Recently I lost my Credit card somewhere in the house and I simply could not find it for days! Although I started to think the worst as I traced all recent movements, the fact that I received no text messages of purchases was a great source of comfort and I was encouraged to seek a little harder, Eventually I found my credit card in the scanner of all places, but at all times I was safe in the knowledge my credit card has not been used, due to this magnificent text service.
3. Create an alias or maildrop and be careful who you give your information to
When travelling to Hotels, renting cars or in similar circumstances, where you are expected to complete a long form with all your personal details, it may be wise to use a different address (even PO Box or mail drop) and details, in particular information that does not match your credit card or documents, especially if you are in South America or certain parts of Asia. If you would like a worldwide maildrop in Cyprus contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In fact you should be very careful who you give your information to in all circumstances, as very few can be trusted and that includes Governments (UK Government recetly lost thousands of private confidential details), banks (the banking crisis have proved again that baks can be trusted only sparingly) and companies.
4. Surf the Web on the go Safely and Securely
In the age of 2010 everything happens online. In short we bank, shop, date, share information, meet friends, work, read news, books holidays and practically everything has an app or website dedicated to it. Your Privacy is very much insecure and besides the viruses, worms, malware, key loggers and the like you are exposed to all kinds of Privacy risks. It seems that every Company wants you habits and information and through cookies, a history trace etc you are providing them with everything they need to target you in the future.
Here are some tricks to surf more privately and securely through a browser....
Using Firefox: Go to TOOLS and then click "Start Private Browsing.
Using Chrome: Go to FILE and then click "New Incognito Window".
Using Safari: Go to SAFARI then click "Private Browsing".
At Perpetual Traveller Overseas, we do not recommend using Windows Explorer.
If you want to be more secure still, go to this website: http://proxify.co.uk/.