Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

Save Your Life

Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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In the event of a disaster, chances are that I will bug out of town. If I have to get out and I don’t know when I will be back, how do I protect my house from criminals and bad weather?

-From Janice F.

Answer: Depending on how much time you have, you want to make sure your house is as secure as possible such as all doors and windows locked and alarm set. In addition, you may want to consider leaving a radio, TV, or even a light on to give the appearance that someone is there.

If you are planning on leaving your house you need to take an inventory of everything you have inside. What I mean is, you should take your cell phone and video record the entire house.

Basically, walk through the house and identify every item including TV’s all the way down to plates and cups. The more video you have the better since it could potentially be gone when you return.


The credit union I have used for years was recently bought by another company. I’m looking at new places to handle my finances. Is it safer to bank with a credit union or bank? Is one better than the other at protecting my money?

-From Megan B.

Answer: Unfortunately, both banks and credit unions are commonly targeted by scammers and hackers. Large banks such as Wells Fargo are more likely to be targeted than a small community credit union simply because the hackers believe the payoff will be bigger for a larger institution.

With that being said, big banks such as Wells Fargo spend a considerable amount of money on cyber security, therefore the security they have in place is going to be much better than your smaller credit union.

At the end of the day, you should go with whatever institution you feel more comfortable with. But, all of them will face attacks.


With tax season starting I’m trying to find a new tax person. How would I go about doing a background check on the tax person to make sure that I can trust them?

-From Marcus R.

Answer: It all depends on how thorough you want to be. If you want to be incredibly thorough and know everything about this guy, it’s going to cost about $500. But, if you want just a simple criminal check, it can be done for $50.

If you’re trusting them with a large amount of money, then I’d spend the $500 to be safe.

This can be done in a week or two, depending on how many places he has lived and if he’s ever lived overseas. To get this done I would contact a local private investigator.


Why can’t older flip phones be tracked? Don’t they use the same cell towers as new phones?

-From Charlie A.

Answer: Most flip phones are older and don’t have internet capabilities. This means they are not always connected to the internet and sending your information back and forth.

In addition, older flip phones are not GPS enabled, so you can’t use them for things like mapping or directions.

Since older flip phones don’t have internet connectivity, your location cannot be pinpointed by Google or Apple.

However, any cell phone will use a cell tower when making a phone call, so phone companies can track your phone to a general location based on the tower it’s connecting to.

(If you buy a flip phone, pay cash and have the store activate it for you so that you’re not the owner on record.)


I conceal carry my firearm all day every day. What’s the best way to carry extra magazines?

-From Otis W.

Answer: One of the easiest ways to carry a spare magazine is to simply put it in your pocket. The typical magazine isn’t any heavier than the normal things you have in your pocket, so it shouldn’t be a burden.

Another option is to wear a magazine holster. There are a ton of them on the market with all sorts of options.

For concealed carry, try to find an inside-the-waistband design that tucks easily and isn’t uncomfortable to have in the waistband.

Lastly, there are combination holsters for your gun and magazine. These are bigger holsters, but it’s an all-in-one option for convenience.

When it comes to combination holsters or magazine holsters you can find them online at Amazon or other online retailers such as Cheaper Than Dirt.


Unfortunately, owning a gun is not an option for me. In this case, what are your thoughts about using a paintball gun for home defense? Don’t police use something similar in certain situations?

-From Eddie T.

Answer: Police across the country have been using less-lethal methods to stop rioters including paintballs, pepper balls, rubber bullets, and even flash-bangs.

While these may work to disperse a crowd, I wouldn’t recommend paintball guns for home defense.

If someone is trying to kick in my front door at 3 am, they are not there for good reasons.

They are probably trying to kill me or my family and the last thing I want is a paintball gun. I want a real gun that will stop them from attacking my family.

Yet a paintball gun might be better than nothing. But I would consider other options as well, such as a kukri (machete) or tomahawk or other large knife.

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