I am releasing a new non-fiction book called, “The Successful Privacy Mindset: Proven Security Hacks And Tricks To Protect Yourself From Stalkers And Stay Safe In The Digital Age…Guaranteed!”. Rather than copy and paste the descriptive blurb which will be on my website and Amazon soon, I thought it would be fun to share with you the Foreword from this book.
FOREWORD: WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR AND WHY SHOULD YOU READ IT?
“I give the fight up:
let there be an end, a privacy,
an obscure nook for me.
I want to be forgotten…
even by God.”
– Robert Browning, poet and playwright
Coming home from my twenty first birthday party in downtown Chicago, I was attacked. That was the first time violence from a stranger had ever been inflicted on me – but sadly it wasn’t the last time.
Several years later I met a very nice man that volunteered his time to edit a short film I had directed. We worked together for several days side by side. I felt safe and he put me at ease. Little did I know that the few days we spent together on this simple film project would send my life in a direction I could never have imagined. My film premiered in Chicago – and my editor was in the audience there to support me along with my friends, family and everyone that helped out on the film. I didn’t see his behavior as weird (at this point). However, I began to get alarmed when he would show up at festival screenings in the various towns my film and I traveled to. He “surprised” me with his “support” in Detroit, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. The biggest shock was when my film was invited to SXSW and guess who again “surprised” me with his “support”? You guessed it! My editor had driven all the way to Austin, Texas!
As most of the cases of stalkers go our relationship escalated rapidly. We had become Facebook friends during our initial days of editing together. However, somehow he found out my favorite coffee shop, and from there followed me home – and now knew where I lived. What’s more, he showed up on the set of the next film I was shooting. How he knew where our location was, well – when I found out how he knew – I was beyond shocked!
Eventually, when I confronted him with my worries and explained that I felt we needed some time away from each other, he became verbally abusive. His temper was terrifying. That’s when the real insanity began: he started to write letters to my family and friends. He showed up to my best friend’s work and refused to leave until she talked to me on his behalf. One night, I arrived back from a gig – and – he was waiting for me in my apartment! Thankfully, I live just three blocks from a police station and cops were on hand within a minute of my call.
To make a very, very long and detailed story short, this man consumed my entire life for nearly two years. Eventually, after the legal system all but failed me (I had a restraining order which he repeatedly ignored), I decided to take matters into my own hands. I began to study all of the books, blog postings and news articles I could find on privacy. I became a student of YouTube tutorials on safety, self defense and common sense privacy for the digital age.
It has been almost four years since the night I decided to take control of my safety and take back my life. I have learned a lot along the way – and I want to share with you what steps I have done in order to protect my self, my home and my sanity.
My story is a crazy one which no one should have to live through.
You may wonder how this man knew my every location? The answer is simple – in those early days of our time together editing that film, I showed him a photo on my phone of the new kitten I had just adopted. While he pretended to be looking at that picture, he download an app which essentially “cloned” my phone and enabled him to see every email, text, photo, video – almost everything I ever did on my smartphone!
And how did he get into my apartment? My landlord gave him a key! By falsifying documents, he added himself onto my lease – claiming he was my husband. Seriously! I had no idea that any of this was happening. But it did.
It happened to me. And it can happen to you too.
This book will cover practical tips and tricks that I have learned about privacy. Not everything will apply to you – I suggest reading the entire book and making notes for steps you can take to make yourself safer immediately. Pick and choose what works best for you, given your situation. I have no background in law enforcement or the military. I am not a survivalist nor am I a hacker. Also, I am not a lawyer – so understand this book is simply documenting the tips I have learned along my journey to becoming safe from my stalker. Everything that works for me, may not work for you – but I guarantee that if you follow some of my tips and tricks you will be safer than 99% of the rest of the population.
This book is for anyone that has ever felt watched, ever felt that their privacy has been compromised or for anyone that has ever felt less than safe and secure. You deserve to feel safe at all times! That’s the mantra I kept repeating to myself over and over: you deserve to feel safe at all times! It’s true for me – and it’s true for you. If you are a survivor of an assault, rape, mugging, stalker, identity theft, home invasion or any other ugliness – there will be ideas in this book that will make you feel safe. One of the most troubling things about crime is that the victim can feel the scars for years and years afterwards. My goal for readers of this book is to help switch you out of the victim mindset and into the survivor mindset. Take back your life. I know you can.
You deserve to feel safe at all times!
Tomorrow I’ll go back to my regular style of Daily Blogs (inspirational and motivational), but for now I thought this would be a fun read!
PS: Today is Daily Blog #35.