Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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From Dave M: How is the tactical pen used?

Answer: The tactical pen is one of my favorite self-defense tools. Not only can you use it to strike an attacker (holding the pen in an ice pick grip), it can also be used as a glass-breaking device in the event of an emergency. In addition, it can still be used as a regular writing pen and can be carried in secure areas where weapons cannot. For example, I regularly fly with my tactical pen, and I’ve taken it into courthouses and other secure buildings.

From Arnold D: I am a former DOD contractor search and rescue member prepped survivalist living in remote Alaska. I believe in a knife that will not break, crack, shatter. Do you have any recommendations?

Answer: I spent years looking for a knife that could meet my needs when it comes to survival. In the end I ended up paying a custom knife maker to produce a knife called the NOC Knife, which I personally tested under extreme circumstances. It will be difficult to find an incredibly quality knife on the retail market, so I would consider finding a custom knife maker and telling them exactly what you want. Just know that a custom knife is not cheap. You can see the NOC Knife that I use, right here.

From Mary H: Recently, I heard of Pineapples, which can fit in a backpack or smaller ones in pockets that essentially hijack Wi-Fi. If someone in a public location like Panera has one of these, and a patron connects to the Panera Wi-Fi, they would unknowingly connect to the Pineapple where the culprit could hack the patron’s info. Does Tunnel Bear block this capability?

Answer: The way the Pineapple device works is that is basically takes over the Wi-Fi and can see everything that people connected to the network are browsing. It’s typically a small device that connects to the hacker’s computer via USB and is difficult to detect. The good thing is a VPN will protect you from having your information stolen. Now, if you were connected to a hijacked Wi-Fi your information would still pass through the Pineapple device however it would be encrypted by the VPN, which would keep it safe.

From Dale H: Loved your article but what can you do if your SS# has already been stolen? (Mine was!)

Answer: Sadly, this is becoming an epidemic since social security numbers can be used to commit so many different types of crimes. It’s also a huge mess to get this cleaned up and will take some time on your part. You will want to go to your local police and file a police report. You want to report the theft of your SS# to the Federal Trade Commission. You want to make sure you put a credit freeze on your credit report. You want to monitor your credit report every month to make sure there are no fraudulent charges. You should contact the Social Security Administration about getting a new SS#.

From Art C: Is there a way to put a tracking device on the gun itself?

Answer: GPS trackers are so tiny you can literally attach them to anything using a simple keychain ring. I personally wouldn’t attach a tracker to a firearm because I would never want it to accidently get in the way when I need to use the firearm. I’m not a big fan of adding too many accessories to guns and I think a GPS tracker would be more of a headache.

From Marilyn M: How do I put a VPN on my smartphone. How do I use it?

Answer: Depending on the smartphone you have, you can go to the app store and download a VPN for your phone. For example, on the IPhone you simply go to the app store and search VPN and you will see many reputable companies that offer a downloadable version for your smartphone. Once you have a VPN downloaded just log in and you will be able to use it when using the internet on your phone.

From Allen D: Hey Jason, I agree w your recommendation to store your bike inside at night. As a USA Triathlon coach for most of the last 20 years, I found a set of additional recommendations to prevent bike theft, which we recommended to our clients. My personal experience on several continents supports these:

  1. Use wheel skewers that require a special tool to release them. Pitlock and Delta are two of many brands. The standard quick release skewer can be released in 1-2 sec, and the bike wheel simply removed. Ditto for quick release seat posts. Obviously, do not leave the special skewer release tool with your bike
  2. The same type of skewer is available for your seat post. Some companies sell a package of three for wheels and seat post.
  3. Case hardened chain locks are available from companies like Abus. They cannot be cut with a bolt cutter, only a welding torch. When locking your bike like this pass the chain thru the rear triangle, around or thru a secure fixture then thru the front wheel. Thus, both wheels and frame are secured.
  4. Remove flashy, bright insignia & labels from your bike & wheels, especially IF it is a higher end product. My Ti travel bike is just plain grey sandblasted metal, w matt black wheels. The point is to have nothing calling attention that says “Rich Man’s Bike!” Our new custom touring bikes are label free…. “Just another bike”
  5. When touring, leave the dirt on your bike except critical items like chain and gears, avoid cleaning the frame until you head home… Fit in to the crowd w your clothing.
  6. When staying in hostels, Inns, B&Bs, etc. Talk to the owner, they often have secure spaces, and will usually help you secure your bike when you are not riding.

A: Thanks for the advice Allen. You obviously have extensive experience in this field and know how to keep your bikes secure.

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