Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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From Knute J: I am a PR and PIO for South Orange Amateur Radio Association in Southern California. By the way, most ham clubs offer license classes for just the cost of supplies. A list of local clubs can be found at My club can be found at
May you be in good health and prosper.

Answer: Thank you for this information. Ham radio operators can be incredibly valuable during a disaster situation. The fact is, in this day and age society is overly dependant on technology and during a crisis technology likely won’t be reliable, which is one of the many reasons ham radios are important.

From Ed F: When you tout your tactical pen, you say you carry it on planes. Since 2017, TSA says that tactical pens are martial arts weapons and are forbidden to be carried on board.

Answer: I’ve flown with my tactical pen for a number of years and I’ve never had a problem with TSA. I’ve also flown all over the world with it and never had a problem internationally. Now, I obviously don’t display the pen or say, “look at my cool tactical pen” but I simply put it in my carry-on bag and go through security.

From Richard S: I remember reading something about getting a UPS PO Box. I want to read again, but I cannot find it. What exactly do you recommend for protecting my home address?

Answer: One of the most important things you can do to keep your information private is setting up a P.O. Box at a UPS Store. Now, the reason you want to do this at the UPS Store is because it’s not an actual P.O. Box but is a physical address. This allows you to register your cars at the address and have your driver’s license with that address too. This is where you should have ALL mail sent including packages. Even if you order things from Amazon you should have everything sent to your UPS Store address.

From Gerry G: I always look forward to your interesting and valuable articles. I have a hunting knife that I purchased about 50 years ago that I have never used as I felt it was too pretty and I was not a hunter. I was selling Cutco Cutlery when I was in college and they sold this hunting knife that has very good metal in the blade with a Double D edge on the blade, which is like a serrated blade. The handle is made of the same material that bowling balls are made of so it is VERY durable, and it is formed to contour to a hand so you don’t lose your grip.

Will this knife be good for self-defense?

Answer: This knife sounds like it could be used in your bug out bag or other survival gear. Depending on the size I’m not sure it’s something you would want to carry on your body, as it may be too big to always have with you. What I mean is, I usually like to carry a knife that I’m able to conceal yet can deploy quickly if needed. However, your knife sounds durable and could definitely be an added piece of gear for survival situations. In my opinion, the most critical aspect of a knife is whether it will hold up when you need it most. I know the knife is 50 years old, but it would be nice to know if there was any testing done to ensure its quality.

From Warren W: I want to know how to evade surveillance we tend to not think about, like GPS tracking on our phone.

Answer: The fact is, GPS tracking is in many devices we use these days including smartphones and tablets. Now, some older flip phones don’t have GPS tracking, which is why I still use a flip phone that’s older than dirt. I know you can turn off the GPS on smartphones, however, if the phone is hacked or compromised in any way you could still be tracked.

In addition, one of the many reasons I recommend using a VPN on your smartphone, tablet, and computer is because this is another way to reduce the chances of being tracked. For example, if I’m browsing the internet on my computer with my VPN turned on, then my location would show I was in another state. For instance, right now, I am typing this from my office in Utah, but my location shows that I’m in New Jersey.

One Comment

  • James Jordan says:

    Jason, I tried to take my tactical pen when I went to Hawaii last year. The TSA held me up and really looked at it closely when it went through the xray machine and they ended up confiscating it. They told me I could mail it to myself but if I couldn’t take it with me it was useless so I told them they could have it. They were very nice about it but said they couldn’t keep it according to their regulations so we just trashed it to keep it from delaying us. It was the same tactical pen that I purchased from you for myself and both my son-n-laws. It actually surprised me and I told them I get it from an ex-CIA agent and it didn’t seem to bother them but they would not let me take it on my carry-on. They did say if I left it in my other luggage it would have been fine.

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