Here at TheSHTFPrepper, we take the view that the U.S. is in decline in several areas – politically, in our governance, socially, and economically. Crime – both cyber and physical – are on the rise, the value of human life seems unimportant, general protections have decreased, and the government seems consumed by infighting.
So the question then becomes: How does a person reasonably hide and protect their assets, identity, and activity in an environment where the ability to hide in plain sight is the last non-violent protection?
The Gray Man Theory suggests that we should take some advice from large lottery winners to maintain our personal security and avoid becoming a potential target.
As a Gray Man, you’re just another face in the crowd; you’re invisible, shrouded in anonymity while going about your daily life.
But how does the Gray Man Concept work in a digital world where everything is connected and the bad guys know how to find information about anyone? In a digital world, being a gray man isn’t about wearing clothing that looks a certain way, the tools you carry, or the physical skills you’ve developed.
One of the unfortunate things about prepping is that may become a potential target. Becoming debt free will boost your credit score. How will you protect that? How will you make sure that the years you spend accumulating resources don’t get wasted by potential threats from a digital world?
Your anonymity has to be protected – whether it’s safeguarding your personally identifiable information or shielding financial assets. Here, we’ll give you some ideas about how to do it effectively. A Gray Man must understand the digital world; it’s about ensuring privacy and security in an ever-connected environment.
Strap yourself in as we guide you through the art of becoming an unnoticeable Gray Man in a digital world.
The Gray Man Doesn’t Exactly Own Real Estate
As you navigate the intricacies of asset protection and anonymity, it’s crucial to understand potential missteps in concealing your real estate holdings.
One common blunder is failing to create a robust trust structure. Without a properly structured trust, your real estate holdings (bug-out location) may be easily traceable back to you, leaving you vulnerable to unwanted attention.
An example of a more robust trust structure is nicknamed “trust within a trust”. The “nested” trust owns an LLC which owns the real estate. Consult with your attorney to understand the laws in your state and who you would to be the trustee of each trust so your name isn’t used. Many states require the Trustee to be listed on the property deed so you wouldn’t want that to be a friend or family member.
The gray man strategically structures their assets to maintain anonymity and protect themselves.
Mistakes to Avoid When Concealing Real Estate
When concealing real estate assets, be aware of the mistakes that can jeopardize your anonymity. Two common errors are using personal information in trust names or opening an LLC in your home state, as these can make it easy to pull the hoodie off the gray man.
Additionally, issuing stock or taking out loans through the LLC creates a paper trail that leads back to you, compromising your personal security. Banks require personal information to issue loans, and this can make it easier to trace your holdings and potentially expose your bugout location.
Another mistake to avoid is not fully anonymizing your LLC. While using an LLC can provide some level of protection, if your name is associated with it, it becomes easier for others to connect you to your real estate holdings. Don’t use any address associated with you or use a family member as the Registered Agent.
Meticulous planning and execution are key to maintaining invisibility.
Conceal Your Personal Identifiable Information
Ensuring you’ve hidden your personally identifiable information is like being a master magician, making the essential details of your life disappear into thin air. As a gray man, you appreciate that there’s personal safety in anonymity. Anonymity ensures you’re not drawing attention to yourself or leaving traces that potential threats can follow.
Think about using a UPS Store mailbox instead of an easily traceable home address. This isn’t just about receiving mail; it’s about creating an intricate web that conceals your true location and activities from those looking for a potential target. In most states, you can even use this address for official documents like driver’s licenses. It’s another layer of misdirection on your path toward anonymity.
Furthermore, consider using it as the listed address for any Trusts or LLCs you may have, further securing your assets from prying eyes.
Gray man tactics involve multiple moves when trying to conceal your personally identifiable information. Your identity is no less than a treasure and safeguarding it requires strategy and diligence. Be smart, stay safe, and always keep one step ahead of those potential threats to your privacy and avoid compromising your security.
Securing Financial Assets and Accounts
You’ve likely thought about securing your financial assets and accounts, or even putting your bank accounts in a trust… In keeping with gray man theory, it’s essential to diversify and ensure your financial security through multiple accounts.
Let’s delve into the discussion of how you can better protect and secure your financial life.
Should you put your bank accounts in a Trust?
A gray man might consider placing their bank accounts in a Trust. This can make it easier to transition them to an heir and keep them out of probate but also ensures your financial stability. All this cloak-and-dagger might make you feel like Mozzie from White Collar, hiding your assets right under the noses of those who fail to see beyond the obvious.
Your bank accounts, nestled safely within a trust, remain in plain sight yet out of reach for anyone who isn’t privy to their existence.
This strategy might seem like overkill to the average person, but it’s actually quite straightforward. Depending on where you live and your personal circumstances, it could be beneficial, especially for larger accounts. However, remember that smaller accounts that you access regularly may not need this level of security.
The Gray Man Has Multiple Accounts
The gray man concept at work is subtle at keeping your identity and assets under wraps. As a gray man, having multiple accounts helps to not draw attention as easily as one account with a lot of activity. You’re playing it smart by spreading your transactions over a few accounts, reducing the chances of prying eyes noticing any significant activity or trends.
This is one way a gray man hides their activities – always staying in the shadows, never compromising on security or control. Remember to stay under FDIC limits to protect your funds if there’s a banking collapse. It’s not likely that all banks will fail simultaneously.
The gray man has multiple accounts – and so should you.
Hide Your Credit Score
Locking down your credit score is a significant move, especially when you’re striving to maintain that elusive gray man status. It makes sense for various reasons, not least of which is keeping your financial accounts under wraps and avoiding any unnecessary attention. Just like a lottery winner who wants to keep their newfound wealth from prying eyes, you should adopt the same protective measures.
You may wonder why this is necessary. Firstly, remember that as a gray man, your intention is not to bring attention to yourself or your assets. If you’ve been diligent in managing your finances and have accrued an impressive credit score over time, having this available to hackers makes it more appealing or interesting to potential identity thieves – certainly not what you’re aiming for!
Freezing your credit history means no one can tap into your finances without you consciously allowing them. This is an essential step in maintaining a low profile.
Companies like Credit Karma provide a guide to freezing your credit. Once frozen, no one has access until you choose otherwise – perfect for remaining discreet while protecting what you’ve built. When it’s time to thaw things out for a big purchase? You can simply re-freeze once the new loan kicks in!
Your Vehicle Is Telling Everyone About You
Your vehicle is more than just a means of transportation – it knows your whereabouts and habits. The Electronic Data Recorder in your car logs information about speed, location, and direction – which can all be traced back to you.
As a gray man wanting to stay under the radar, understanding these tracking methods devices is vital for maintaining your low-profile lifestyle.
Your Vehicle’s Electronic Data Recorder
Your vehicle’s electronic data recorder, commonly known as the black box, is a constant recorder of data that can potentially expose your activities if not handled with discretion. This device, like a silent passenger, keeps an indisputable record of 20 seconds before and after any crash. It has been mandated by law in all vehicles since 2014 and many manufacturers have been installing them since the early 2000s.
This information can be used against you if things go wrong. It’s worth noting that police need a warrant to access this data.
Your Vehicle’s GPS data
Isn’t it funny that whenever you’re lost and need directions, your vehicle always knows where you are? That’s because it has GPS data tracking enabled.
Yes, your car is smart and helpful, but there’s a flip side to this technological marvel…
This same system can also expose your private life. Your vehicle remembers every destination you’ve been to, the routes you’ve taken, and even how long you stayed at each spot. If you’ve synced your cell phone with your car, then guess what? It knows your contacts too. It might feel invasive, like an unwelcome passenger who never gets out of the car.
If your vehicle has a touch screen in it, then you should assume that it has GPS data tracking – regardless of whether or not you’ve enabled or subscribed to the feature.
How a Gray Man Gets Around Vehicle Tracking
New cars aren’t the gray man’s friends here. They’re like nosy neighbors…
If you’ve purchased a vehicle that has GPS data tracking then you signed for this feature when you bought the vehicle. It cannot be disabled. It’s part of the hard-coded software that runs your vehicle.
You have one choice; opt for a pre-1999 ride instead. These vintage beauties can’t disclose your whereabouts. They come with the added benefit of looking unassuming which fits with the gray man theory.
Title Your Car To Your Trust?
Titling your vehicle in the name of your trust may or may not help you…
But before you rush to make this change, remember that not everyone at the DMV fully understands how to handle vehicles titled in this manner. You might encounter some complications or delays which could potentially draw more attention toward you – something you’re striving to avoid as a gray man.
Consult with your attorney first and understand how your state deals with vehicles held in trusts. Depending on where you live, there may not be any real benefits to titling your car this way. It’s always vital to know the facts before making such decisions that impact the concealment of your identity and assets.
Think it through carefully. While titling your car in the name of a trust can offer potential protective benefits for a gray man strategy, ensure it aligns with local laws and won’t inadvertently attract unwanted attention instead.
If you’ve implemented everything discussed so far, you don’t own any real estate, you have a small bank account, drive an old car, and don’t have a credit history. You don’t look very interesting. You’re doing a pretty good job of implementing gray man theory in a digital world.
There are more steps yet to take…
Your Car Insurance Company Is Watching You
Did you know that 65% of auto insurers now offer telematics, or usage-based insurance programs? You’re trading your privacy for a possible discount – an exchange that could reveal intimate details about your daily life.
Think about this: Your insurance company offers you a small device to plug into your car. It sounds like a sweet deal because it might lower your premiums, right? But…
This tiny piece of technology is tracking more than just how many miles you drive each day; it’s logging every stop at the grocery store, every dinner at your favorite restaurant, and even those clandestine midnight snack runs.
This is more than just data collection; it’s a detailed chronicle of your daily life. And if this sensitive information falls into the wrong hands – those of a skilled hacker – they’d have an open book on everything from when you’re usually not home to where you bank. Law enforcement could also subpoena the data.
Think twice before agreeing to such deals. Safety isn’t just about driving cautiously – it’s also about being smart with who gets access to our personal data.
Your Cell Phone Is Your Judas
Just as your car insurance company might be tracking you, your cell phone also plays the role of a silent traitor in your pocket. Everyone has a GPS-enabled device on them almost all the time.
China used cell phones to track its citizens during COVID-19. This is how they verified that everyone obeyed the quarantine rules. Your Android or Apple phone is happily logging your every move unless you tell it otherwise.
It’s surprising how much data cell phones and apps can collect and share without our knowledge. From identifying where you’ve been to who you’ve talked to, they’re fantastic at spilling secrets if someone knows how to listen.
There are services that sell your location data that they acquired through partnerships with your cell phone company. You’ve heard the stories about people being caught because their cell phones gave them away? They’re not just urban legends – they’re real.
If you’re fully subscribed to the gray man theory, then the digital world isn’t making it easy for you. Think about shutting down location services and apps on your phone that aren’t needed. Get familiar with good old-fashioned maps and start planning your routes ahead of time.
If SHTF does happen, you’re going to need to know how to read a map anyway.
It knows when you are sleeping. It knows when you’re awake…
When the FBI was looking for Whitey Bulger they knew he loved animals so they visited veterinarians wherever they thought he was hiding. What information does your fit-bit have on you?
Believe it or not, your Fitbit could be letting the cat out of the bag about your whereabouts. Half of the people who wear fitness trackers forget that they’re also GPS-enabled devices. You might think you’re just tracking your heart rate or steps walked, but in reality, you’re recording for anyone with the ability to access your information exactly where you’ve been and when.
It’s easy to fall into this trap. As a gray man prepper, fitness should be part of your life. And these nifty gadgets make tracking our progress super easy. But they erode your anonymity and privacy.
Just as you wouldn’t want to leave behind a trail of breadcrumbs for others to follow, don’t let your Fitbit do it for you either. Consider ditching the digital tracker altogether and learn to track your fitness on a simple sheet of paper. You can still keep track of your fitness goals – take your pulse manually and keep a hand-written exercise log if needed.
The Gray Man Maintains Privacy In Their Own Home
As a Gray Man, you understand that maintaining privacy within your own home is paramount.
If I told you that the two professions that loved Facebook the most were Divorce Attorneys and Insurance Adjusters, would you believe me? You should. I spent many years working with attorneys and adjusters. I know firsthand their love of Facebook because it’s a treasure trove of information.
You should be aware that Facebook isn’t your friend when it comes to staying under the radar and Google’s habit of recording just about everything you do doesn’t exactly help either.
To further enhance your privacy, consider minimizing your use of Amazon products and services, as every order placed paints a clearer picture of who you are.
The Gray Man Knows Facebook Isn’t Helpful
Despite Facebook’s assurances, the savvy Gray Man knows that this social media giant isn’t helpful to those wanting to keep their activities under wraps.
While they may claim your data is encrypted and not stored, it’s hard to ignore the hefty fines they’ve paid for violating consumer privacy. The Gray Man is smart enough to question whether they can really be trusted.
Keeping your identity, assets, and activities secret requires more than just caution. It demands a certain level of skepticism toward companies like Facebook. They may promise data security, but in their world, you’re not just a user – you’re a commodity.
The Gray Man thinks twice before sharing sensitive information on such platforms or setting up a Facebook Portal.
Google is Recording Everyone, Including the Gray Man
Google is everywhere. And the uncomfortable truth is that Google has a cozy little archive of not just your searches, but your voice recordings and videos too – not exactly the privacy fortress you imagined.
Before you freak out, they’ve promised not to sell this data. But here’s where it gets tricky: while Google might not be handing over your secrets for cash today, who can predict the future?
Imagine if those recordings fell into the wrong hands at some later date. Would that concern you? It should. How we protect ourselves and our identities in a digital world is becoming more challenging every time someone writes some new software.
It’s time to ponder seriously about whether Google is someone you can trust with your secrets in this digital age. You might consider looking into other options that are less invasive.
Minimize Your Use of Amazon
While it might be convenient, relying too heavily on Amazon could potentially expose your information in ways you may not be comfortable with. Amazon Ring may be one of the most invasive technologies in your life.
Amazon has set up Ring devices to communicate with other nearby Rings in your neighborhood. The network is called Amazon Sidewalk. Alexa, Ring, and Sidewalk all interact with each other within a half-mile range. Imagine this: several Rings sharing your comings and goings. That’s a bit disquieting, isn’t it?
Ring has a camera at your front door. Alexa has a microphone in your living room. And all this information can be, and is, communicated with other Amazon devices up to 2500 feet away. How many videos have you seen where a neighbor’s Ring watch events across the street?
So, as part of our gray man strategy to protect your anonymity, consider minimizing your use of Amazon services.
It’s clear that maintaining a gray man lifestyle requires careful planning and constant vigilance. The world we live in is increasingly interconnected, where every move can potentially leave a digital footprint. Being a gray man means constantly remaining aware of these footprints and doing your best to erase or minimize them.
It might seem inconvenient at first, but remember that with each decision you make towards becoming less visible, you’re strengthening your position in an SHTF scenario.
There are multiple gray man strategies for hiding your identity. The gray man avoids drawing attention to themselves by wearing clothing that’s unremarkable. They blend in with the crowd and avoid standing out in any way. They also minimize their online presence and use pseudonyms when necessary.
When it comes to hiding their assets, a Gray Man takes precautions to keep their financial information private. They use anonymous LLC’s and prepaid debit cards. They also avoid flashy displays of wealth and keep a low profile in their spending habits.
In terms of hiding their activities, a Gray Man is cautious about their digital footprint. They use encrypted communication methods and avoid sharing sensitive information online. They also limit their use of social media and carefully consider the potential risks before engaging in any activities that could compromise their anonymity.
However, it’s important to note that being a Gray Man isn’t just about hiding in plain sight; it’s about living smartly and safely in today’s interconnected world. It requires constant vigilance and mindfulness about every aspect of one’s life, from their home to their Fit-Bit. Remember – being a Gray Man is a lifestyle that demands careful consideration and a commitment to protect your personally identifiable information.