Staying “off the grid” [volume.1]


We all need a Social Security number, but who said we actually have to use it?

If you’re unsure what living “off the grid” refers to, think of M. Night Shymalan’s The Village. Complete disconnection from the rest of the world, especially corporations and the government. That’s true living off the grid, however, today that’s near, if not impossible for almost everyone, so I’ll bring you monthly tips on how to keep yourself as best off the grid as possible.

What’s the benefit from staying “off the grid”? Hopefully you’ll find your own personal reason(s) as you read through these posts. I can think of one thing that most of us can enjoy with little to no fear of having a shaded knock at our doors.

First, the basics;

Before I begin, I want to say: stop, using, Google. They index everything you search, and while it may be anonymous, if you have to use it, do it at a library.

  • Financial: No checks, no credit cards. Green = good, pay for everything in cash and change only. Don’t get a bank account, get a piggy bank. Also, loans or anything that require your information to truly optional places of financial standing are something you should avoid. Save your money and store it securely.
  • Security: Invest in a good ol’ fashioned Louisville Slugger, not an alarm system. Some alarm companies (Brinks, ADT, not necessarily them however) have the capability of monitoring the activity of their systems without any malicious activity having to go on, not to mention that’s another place where some of your most sensitive information goes. Look at the bright side, an alarm system offers no physical defense. Baseball bats, now, that’s another story. Be creative with a homemade alarm system. Get in the green mentality and recycle those noisy soda cans in a unique way.
  • Health: This one’s tough. Hospitals are nice, but if you can manage to find the right free clinic and take good care of yourself, you won’t have to give anything more than your name and a place for them to send the bill, which brings me to my next point.
  • Mail: Get a post office box, and have ALL of your mail go to that. An average post office box costs a little over $100 a year. Not bad at all for personal security. Not to mention any spam that you catch is diffused by the simple change of your box number, instead of having to move.

While that may be a short list, it takes a good effort to implement into your life. Please comment on this post with your experiences or if you have any suggestions.

[ Source: experience ]

God speed, and Best wishes.

¥

About GN

From brushing your teeth, to handling your money the way you know you should, GN has the experiences, scoops and tips for your disconnected and wired life.

Posted on May 29, 2008, in Advice, Computers, internet, Life, Lifestyle, Money, Politics, Technology, That's GN, Tips & Tricks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Not bad at all mate. But alas for some (myself included) staying off the grid can not be done. However, a fake name, identity and such like also serves a usefull purpose.

  2. How is google suppose to track you if you search from your own house, and you don’t have a google account?

    Store your search query with your IP address? I think someone is overly paranoid.

    If you really want to be careful, search your name in Google and see what comes up. You may be surprised.

  3. email
    photos
    videos
    movies
    music live stream
    tv live stream
    facebook/myspace
    online networking
    maps

    “Invest in a good ol’ fashioned Louisville Slugger, not an alarm system.”
    paranoid much? basically, the gov’t can’t track you. but so what? at WHAT cost?
    no alarm system? ok, you can’t go on vacation anymore. leave and get robbed by a thief.
    the bat isn’t going to move on its own.
    no pets, you can’t have ANYTHING basically. oh, guess what? piggy banks can be stolen. and they can’t give you interest. or protection from theft, the bank covers your funds.
    man, unless you are a criminal black hat, you can’t/don’t need to do this. google search? well, google may index, but so will everyone else. how the heck do you think they get user input to make their searching better.
    how are you going to pay taxes? give wads of money to the treasury secretary?
    expain bills, rebates, refunds. explain house deeds, internet access. explain life unless you are hardcore and can hide yourself on the net well enough. The government already knows who you are. why make that much effort to hide if you aren’t a bad person?

    explain large cash purchases. explain buying a house or a car. are you going to ride a bike and live in a tent? do you have $500 grand needed to buy that house?

    rent an apartment? yea, you can use a fake name i guess. get a job? you can use that fake name. but one slip and its over. so you won’t use that fake name unless you are desperate. that means, you are being “tracked” anyway.

    so this means you are excessively paranoid for no justified reason.

    God

  4. “Invest in a good ol’ fashioned Louisville Slugger, not an alarm system.”
    paranoid much? basically, the gov’t can’t track you. but so what? at WHAT cost?
    no alarm system? ok, you can’t go on vacation anymore. leave and get robbed by a thief.
    the bat isn’t going to move on its own.
    no pets, you can’t have ANYTHING basically. oh, guess what? piggy banks can be stolen. and they can’t give you interest. or protection from theft, the bank covers your funds.
    man, unless you are a criminal black hat, you can’t/don’t need to do this. google search? well, google may index, but so will everyone else. how the heck do you think they get user input to make their searching better.
    how are you going to pay taxes? give wads of money to the treasury secretary?
    expain bills, rebates, refunds. explain house deeds, internet access. explain life unless you are hardcore and can hide yourself on the net well enough. The government already knows who you are. why make that much effort to hide if you aren’t a bad person?

    explain large cash purchases. explain buying a house or a car. are you going to ride a bike and live in a tent? do you have $500 grand needed to buy that house?

    rent an apartment? yea, you can use a fake name i guess. get a job? you can use that fake name. but one slip and its over. so you won’t use that fake name unless you are desperate. that means, you are being “tracked” anyway.

    so this means you are excessively paranoid for no justified reason.

    God

  5. I’m sorry, using cash will only get you so far. If you buy a car with cash only at a dealership, expect raised eyebrows.

    Expect the same for major purposes. Use credit cards for discounts, and get points and make money while spending money.

    More power to you if you live underground, but let’s analyze the root cause as to why one would want to live like this, as I’m sure there are deeper issues that need to be contended with.

  6. On the contrary Versatile1. As you’ll see in my next article, there are a vast amount of reasons as to why living off the grid is the preferred lifestyle. Perhaps one’s lifestyle could bring that opinion to the forefront of debate however 😉

    Sloth, I have searched my name in Google. And because I’ve never used my real name on any forums or any place, other than Paypal, the only results that come up on any search engine is that of random other people with my name. Thank goodness my name is generic. My online aliases are the same case. The first page of google is an entirely different person. I guess I have a knack for picking out aliases. Also, Google doesn’t have a profile based on your IP, it’s based off your searches over the IP. If you’ve googled your own name, congratulations you put a big ol’ stamp on their index with your name on it.

    In response to you god, everything you replied to wasn’t written as literal or by definition. My idea is a vacation isn’t necessarily off the coasts of my country, it’s a period of time away from my daily life. So, a trip out of state (requiring only cash) has been the best vacation I’ve ever had.

    I have bought a pet with cash only, in fact many people donate the pups and kittens from their original pets. No money needed at all.

    I’ve also bought 600+ worth of electronics from Best Buy with a single huge wad of cash. The manager didn’t need to come over or anything, in fact the cashier giggled and said it was cute I saved my money. Granted I was in my younger years but if you aren’t dressed like a gangster you shouldn’t be treated like one.

    Also, feedback from companies is mixed in regards to optional of “harvested”. Ever been to a restaurant or cell phone company and they give you a little card and ask for your optional feedback? Even online people give you a non-force option to leave feedback. Ebay and Paypal are prime examples.

    Now if you’re asking how I know all about these things I preach against, well you can’t have a strategy against your opposition without knowing the opposition can you?

    Also, you don’t have to buy a house, you can build one. Paying taxes? Simple – money orders. Or, go to your local courthouse and make arrangements. Internet? Use a library, or get a wifi laptop and go to a Starbucks or hotel.

    Here’s another big advantage – traveler’s checks. They are treated the -exact- same as cash no matter where you go. And, if you lose them? All you have to do is call the number on the stubs and go collect replacements – for free. The locations to do this are more common than Starbucks. All done by American Express. Look into them! They’re fantastic creations. Also another way you can make large cash purchases. They make you look very professional, as most cashier’s have no idea what they are.

    On one final note, yes you are probably being tracked, but for people that do have credit cards and bank accounts and everything, well, I can’t find them on Google for anything.

    P.S.: I never said use fake information. That’s your prerogative. Plus, you don’t have to hide on the internet if you never create an online identity. If I made my name or email address using dictionary words, it’ll be that much harder to find me, wouldn’t it?

    Paranoia, by definition, is baseless. That being said, you can never judge the motives of another person without knowing the person, and by reading an article bringing strictly tips and no personal information whatsoever, I’m afraid your entire comment is the only baseless thing here. Who’s paranoid here?

  7. hm, i feel that both of you guys have good points.
    on one side: you can’t hide from everything, so why hide?
    the other side: you can’t hide from everything, but keeping an almost invisible profile is pretty useful.

    i guess it depends on how you see things and want to run/live life.

  8. GN well worded. I’m sorry, but building a house? You mean paying for someone else in cash or traveler’s check to build the house, or YOU physically build the house?

  9. TV Denim Chap

    When I’m a famous rock star, none of this will matter 😉

  10. suck my ****
    you can’t hide and you know it.
    end of discussion.

  11. Any of those will do Sloth. I appreciate your open mind greatly.

    TV Denim Chap – you already are a rock star.

    Rack – can too, I used to play hide and seek all the time.

  12. Please dive into more detail as to the importance of staying off the grid, besides the obvious: Unwanted people finding you, and sending you spam.

  13. ha, you’re not REALLY hiding.
    more like hiding from those who never look

  14. I’m sorry, but a piggybank? At least with a bank account or IRA account you can earn interest and extra money.

    There is a difference between saving and investing. Piggybank is a form of saving yes, but its not a very lucrative savings method.

  15. wooah that was heavy.:)

  16. take the time to learn about money, really learn, not just talk to an investment banker friend or something to that effect. your bank account,the money you think you have, is numbers in a computer, your cash is just paper. Its hard to really open up to these ideas when you feel this system is working in your favor, but thats the best time to open up. Its at least worth an honest look. its up to you what you do with what you may find.

  17. I know I’m digging up an old topic, but I’m surprised you didn’t mention the AOL search data leak when making your point about not using Google.

    It’s worth reading up on it, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AOL_search_data_scandal

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