Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

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Mailbag Monday

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What small, relatively easy to operate handgun would you recommend for an elderly woman. All the recommendations seem to be rather large heavy handguns, which I might find difficult to operate.

-From Linda M.

Answer: I would go to your local gun range and rent a few different guns. This way you can get a feel for what you like without spending the money on buying a gun.

One handgun I would recommend is a Glock 19. This is a semi-automatic pistol that is relatively easy to shoot. But it does require the strength to rack the slide. This is something you should try to do when you rent the gun.

If you cannot pull the slide back on a semi-auto you should rent a revolver to see if it is a better fit. There are a lot of options when it comes to revolvers but I would check out the Smith & Wesson 638 or the Ruger LCR.


How do I clear my private information on the Dark Web?

-From Jeremy L.

Answer: Many ID protection services claim to remove your information from the Dark Web. Yet, in reality this is pointless. Once data is posted for sale within the Dark Web, it is quickly copied and re-sold. My point is, by the time the company would detect your information it has already been compromised.

The best thing you can do is monitor your own information to catch any fraud. You should check your credit score regularly along with your bank and credit card statements.

Also, I recommend placing a credit freeze on your accounts with the three major credit bureaus. This should prevent anyone from opening new credit accounts with your information. I wouldn’t depend on a company to protect your ID, you should do it yourself so you know its checked on a regular basis.


I wondered what your thoughts are on the safety of investing in digital currencies, when, as we have seen the grid can go down or be hacked into and taken down?

-From Curt C.

Answer: There is no question there are more risks when investing in digital currencies compared to traditional investments. The biggest risk with digital currencies in hacking. Buying and selling digital currency is pretty easy, but storing the currency is where a lot of folks get hacked.

Also, as digital currencies become more popular there will likely be government regulations.

I would personally be careful and as the saying goes, “don’t invest any money in these that you can’t afford to lose.”


I recall reading an email from you where you gave the suggested size (population) of town one should consider moving to in order to stay “under the radar”. Can you tell me what that population range is?

-From Greg C.

Answer: Thanks to Hollywood, many people believe they need to leave the U.S. and find some “super-secret” location to live under the radar. This is not the case. I recommend staying in the U.S.

Ideally, you want to find a town with a population that is about 25,000 to 50,000 in size. You don’t want a town that’s too small because then you’ll stand out and won’t be able to blend in.

This small town should be in a conservative state where people don’t ask a lot of questions, and it’s not a “big government” type of place. Think of small towns in places like Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Tennessee.


Why don’t you text?

-From Janis E.

Answer: One reason I don’t text is because it is an easy way to get hacked. What I mean is, most text messages are not encrypted unless you and the other person are both using a secure service.

Plus, I use a flip phone because it is more secure than a smartphone. Texting on an old flip phone is not as convenient as a smartphone.

Another reason is that texting ruins your situational awareness.

Everyone is walking around these days with their heads buried in their phones and I want to be able to see what is going on around me.


Can I drink the water out of the hot water heater when water becomes scarce?

-From Larry L.

Answer: Water heaters can be a great source of water during an emergency. The first thing you would want to do is turn off power to the heater.

Typically, water heaters are either electric or gas, but either way, you want to make sure they are turned off. There should be a switch to turn off the power or you can turn off the circuit breaker.

Next, if you are worried about a tainted water supply, you want to turn off the valve that lets new water into the tank. This valve should be at the top of the tank near the pipe that brings in new water.

Finally, at the bottom of the tank you should see a drain and valve. Some of these drains have garden hose connections so you can hook a hose up and drain the water into another container.

Even though water from a water heater should be safe to drink, I would still recommend using a water filter to clean the water before drinking.

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