Wednesday, May 5, 2021

100 Ways to Be Ahead of the Crowd in a SHTF Situation (Part 4 of 10)

Continuing on...

31.  Protect your identity and your credit.  The last thing you want to do after a disaster is to try to wrangle your identity back from an identity thief.  In the same vein, you always want to protect your credit for the off chance that you need a loan to fix the aftermath of a disaster.  Do both of these things by following several simple tips here, here, and here.

 32.  Protect yourself online.  This includes going as incognito as possible when you are online as well as protecting your information when you're online (everything from obscuring your IP address to staying way under the radar by using Tor).  The basic rule here is to remember that everything you do online can be traced back to you.  Don't send nudes, don't think anything you email/Tweet/post can't be traced back to you, don't think that the huge Dogecoin haul you made won't be investigated by the IRS, etc.  There are several YouTubers who provide up-to-date info on this topic including here, here, and here.  Note, this topic changes rapidly so check back to these channels often.

33.  Be a minimalist.  Being a minimalist means you have less stuff to own, maintain, store, and insure.  Minimalism makes you far more mobile in the event of a disaster and instead of spending your hard-earned money on a lot of various stuff, you can focus on buying higher quality items to help you during a SHTF situation.

34.  Make a list of the disasters you are most likely to encounter to help you focus your preparedness activities.  The basics for most people would be a financial emergency, a medical emergency, and a sudden job loss.  Additional situations to prepare for include location-dependent emergencies such tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and winter storms as well as other disasters that could happen in your area (do you live near a chemical plant, a dam or bridge that could fail, a high-crime area, etc?).

35.  Live outside and off-grid for a short time during each season.  Go camping or backpacking each season so you can practice your off-grid skills as well as learn how to live without the comforts of modern life.  Besides being a fun family activity, this is a great way to fine-tune your survival skills.

36.  Get certified/licensed in as many disciplines as possible.  The more knowledge and skills you have, the better.  Consider getting certified in first aid and CPR, licensed as an EMT/paramedic/nurse/etc., and get your HAM license, a concealed carry permit, and any vocational certificates/licenses you can (IT certs, journeyman licenses, etc).

37.  Be sure your vehicle is always in bug-out-ready condition.  It should be clean inside and out, kept in good working order, have a complete vehicle emergency kit, and the gas should always be topped off.

38.  Regularly practice drills until the entire family's response to a variety of emergency situations becomes second nature.  Fire drills, lockdown drills, evacuation drills, communication drills, missing persons drills, etc. 

39.  Learn (and practice) all you can about firearms.  How to shoot them, how to clean them, how to 3D print them, how to reload ammunition, how to shoot in various situations (close quarters combat techniques, low-light shooting, tactical shooting), etc.  The more tactical shooting courses and competitions you can participate in, the better.

40.  Learn from others who have survived SHTF situations.  Simply Google 'surviving the the name of a SHTF disaster site like Bosnia or Venezuela.  Anywhere there has been a disaster situation, from civil unrest to economic collapse, it's a good bet someone has written about survival strategies.  Read, learn, and remember these tips for future use.

See part 1 here

Thursday, April 29, 2021

100 Ways to Be Ahead of the Crowd in a SHTF Situation (Part 3 of 10)

Continuing on...

21.  Have multiple ways to get water.  You have tap water, but do you have a reserve of bottled water?  Do you have a way to access well water if the power goes out?  Do you have local sources of water (pond, lake, river, etc) and a way to carry, purify, and store water from these sources?

22.  Have multiple ways to cook food.  You have your kitchen stove but do you have a patio grill with extra fuel?  Can you cook on your wood stove or in your fireplace and have stored wood?  Do you have a camping/backpacking stove with extra fuel?  Do you have a fire pit with stored wood and a grate you can perch your pans on?

23.  Have multiple ways to stay cool/warm.  Do you have proper clothing to stay cool/warm?  Do you have extra blankets/sleeping bags?  Do you have multiple ways to heat your home such as an alternate fuel stove/wood stove/fireplace with an insert?  Do you have multiple ways to cool your home like fans/a swamp cooler/etc?

24.  Have multiple ways to power your electronics.  Do you have battery banks that can be charged for later use?  Do you have a DC/AC power adaptor that will allow you to charge USB and 110 volt items in your vehicle?  Do you have a simple solar set up that will allow you to power small household appliances?  Do you have extension cords, USB cables, and other adaptors that can be used for charging purposes?

25.  Have multiple ways to shelter yourself.  Besides your home, do you have alternate forms of shelter like a tent, a bug out location, an RV or travel trailer, etc?  Can you put together a simple shelter of tarps and blankets if you cannot shelter in your home?

26.  Have multiple ways to protect yourself.  Do you have firearms and ammunition and know how to use them?  Do you have physical fighting skills?  Can you use a knife in a defensive situation?  Do you have Mace/pepper spray/bear spray on hand for less lethal ways to protect yourself?

27.  Have multiple sources of food.  You have the food in your pantry but do you have a stockpile of food in reserve that could carry you through weeks or months of not being able to access the grocery store?  Do you have a garden?  Do you know how to forage for wild edibles in your area?  Do you grow your own animals for food or do you know how to hunt and dress wild animals for consumption?

28.  Have multiple sources of medical care.  Do you have a comprehensive first aid kit?  Are you skilled in basic/intermediate/advanced first aid?  Do you keep a stockpile of basic medications and prescription medications on hand?  Are you well-versed in using old fashioned home remedies for a variety of ailments?  Are there multiple sources of medical care available in your community (hospitals, clinics, community clinics, pop up emergency clinics, EMS agencies, etc)?  Do you have friends, neighbors, or family members who can provide medical care in an emergency (ie: someone who is a paramedic, nurse or doctor who can help you out if needed)?

29.  Have multiple ways to take care of hygiene issues.  Do you have the materials to build a pit toilet in the back yard?  Do you have the materials to make a bucket toilet to use in an emergency?  Do you have plenty of soap, waterless hand sanitizer, wipes, rubbing alcohol, bleach, rags, and other cleaning products on hand?  Do you know how to take a sponge bath, heat water for a makeshift bathtub, and make an emergency shower out of a (clean) lawn and garden pump sprayer?

30.  Have various ways to fortify your home.  Is your yard fenced as a first line of defense?  Are your doors and windows secured as much as possible from break in?  Do you have a security system?  How will this system work if the power is shut off?  Do you have dogs which can provide an additional layer of security?  Do you have solar-powered, motion-detector lights around your property?  Do you have trail cams and other surveillance systems around your home?  Do you have a fortified "safe room" in your home?  Do you have various ways to enter and exit your home and property undetected?

See part 1 here

See park 4 here

Friday, April 23, 2021

100 Ways to Be Ahead of the Crowd in a SHTF Situation (Part 2 of 10)

Continuing on...

11.  Stay on top of chronic health conditions.  This means reversing or fixing health conditions if possible (having eye surgery to correct vision problems instead of wearing glasses, using diet and exercise to reverse type 2 diabetes, etc), as well as being proactive (keep up with regular dental care instead of waiting for a dental emergency which may be difficult to fix during a disaster).  If your chronic health condition can not be fixed, plan now for how to handle related issues during and after a disaster (can you stockpile medication? How would you get oxygen delivered in a disaster? Can you research various ways to deal with type 1 diabetes during and after a disaster?).

12.  Do a complete home inventory.  This can be in written form, taking pictures of everything you own, or making videos of everything you own.  This is valuable information when filing an insurance claim after a disaster.  Don't forget to back up these files and save the back-up off-site.

13.  Speaking of insurance, be sure you carry adequate insurance to cover any disaster you might face.  This includes health, life, auto, home, and long-term care insurance as well as any special insurance you may need (flood insurance, executive protection insurance, umbrella insurance, art or jewelry riders, etc).

14.  Speaking of a home inventory, be sure to make a shopping list of sorts--which covers all consumables like food, toiletries, home maintenance items, etc--and take inventory of these items to align with your weekly or monthly shopping trips.  Ensure that you always have at least six month's worth of these items (everything from rice to toothpaste to furnace filters) on hand so that in the event of a total shutdown due to the weather/a pandemic/etc. you don't need to go to the store because you are out of any necessary items.

15.  Learn to cook and bake everything from scratch.  While you probably won't need to routinely make your own ketchup or mayonnaise, knowing how to make all of the food you eat from its basic ingredients is good info and good practice.  "Pandemic baking" became a thing and many thousands of people who had never baked their own bread or made their own cookies suddenly got a crash course in subsistence cooking and baking during this past year.  These are very useful skills to have.

16.  Grow your own food.  While most people don't have the skill or land necessary to grow much of their food, even throwing some tomato plants in a pot and setting them on your balcony is a tiny step towards self sufficiency.  Note that sprouting and regrowing kitchen scraps are easy and frugal ways create vegetables for your consumption.  A more advanced version of this would include beekeeping, growing mushrooms, raising your own chickens/pigs/cows/etc.

17.  Learn how to fish, hunt, and forage.  These are popular hobbies in many places--for the entertainment aspect, the educational aspect, and the skills development aspect--as well as great ways to supplement your food stores.  Even in a city, foraging can be done almost anywhere, fishing may be available in or near cities, and hunting, well those rules vary by jurisdiction (apparently duck-napping and some bunny hunting right in the middle of cities has become a thing lately, YMMV).

18.  Be prepared for any eventuality by having everything you need on hand.  This is done by having a comprehensive EDC bag, a comprehensive bug out bag, a comprehensive car BOB/vehicle emergency kit, backpacking gear, and evacuation kits that can quickly be loaded in your vehicle before leaving your home.  Be sure your kits are reviewed and updated regularly.

19.  Have all of your documents copied, backed up, and stored in a secure place.  Having basic documentation is necessary in today's world so be sure to have your passport, driver's license/state ID card, alternate ID (work ID, student ID, military ID, etc), social security card, birth certificate, other legal documents (marriage certificate, divorce certificate, immigration documents, DD214, occupational licenses, will, living will, etc.) available in multiple formats (carried with you if necessary, scanned and saved in multiple digital formats, and kept in a fire-proof safe).

20.  Keep a low profile on social media (or better yet delete it all together).  Social media used to be a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family but these days it is used more ominously.  Facial recognition is now used routinely on social media sites and shared with law enforcement and other agencies, psychological manipulation via social media is a constant, and everyone from your own personal stalker to investigators can use social media to track your every move.  Thwart these invasions of your privacy be becoming knowledgeable in ways to take control of your social media instead of letting it control you.

See part 3 here

See part 1 here

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

100 Ways to Be Ahead of the Crowd in a SHTF Situation (Part 1 of 10)

I am a bit dismayed that many people these days have very few actual survival skills.  Years--and I mean many years--ago, learning basic survival skills was just a part of life.  Granted this was in rural areas where every kid knew how to use a gun, everyone had basic gardening skills, and the can-do attitude was alive and well.  

These days my cynical self sees people who wouldn't even know how to feed themselves if the local fast food places were to close down, parents who can't or won't teach their kids the basics of reading/writing/arithmetic because "schools are supposed to do that", and people with advanced degrees who can't find a job because none of the jobs available pertain to their degree so they remain jobless even though there are plenty of other jobs that need workers (the "jack of all trades" type of workers seem to be few and far between these days).  But I digress.  Here are a bunch of skills, many of the old fashioned kind, that will serve anyone facing a SHTF situation...

  1. Be fit.  With more than 70% of the American population being overweight or obese, we are a country of decidedly not fit people.  Fitness--the ability to walk or run far distances, lift heavy things, push heavy things, pull heavy things, crawl under things, climb over things, etc--will serve anyone well in a disaster situation.  The good part is that people can move towards being fitter at any point in their lives so start today.
  2. Be healthy.  Our health statistics are nearly as dismal as our obesity statistics.  Chronic diseases that come along with aging--hypertension, diabetes, other chronic illnesses--used to happen to "old" people, these days it is not uncommon to see such health conditions in very young people.  Again, this is something that most people can take control of today simply by eating healthy food, exercising, de-stressing, getting some sunlight and fresh air, drinking water instead of soda, etc.
  3. Practice a range of interpersonal skills.  Skills like empathy and manners and following directions used to be taught on the daily in a variety of ways--at school, by parents, on TV, at church, in books, etc.  It seems like the learning of these skills is a bit more hit or miss now than they used to be.  I've seen people who were less intelligent and less skilled zip ahead of others in the workplace simply because they had better interpersonal skills, needless to say, having a good grasp of these skills will go a long way when working with others in a SHTF situation.
  4. Have multiple sources of income.  So many people were blindsided by the pandemic (as well as many other types of disasters) because they relied on one job to provide all of their income.  When the job disappeared, either because it was shut down by the government or became financially unviable and everyone was let go, people were left with zero income.  Relying on unemployment was a crapshoot for many people (it took some people in my city over a year to receive the pittance of unemployment they were due) so by having multiples sources of income you will be much better prepared to weather financial storms.
  5. Have money.  When it comes to any sort of disaster--pandemic, wildfire, earthquake, hot water tank dying in dramatic fashion, etc--having money will help you weather the disaster so much better than not having money.  With money you can easily buy a new hot water tank, you can have Instacart bring all the groceries you need, you can evacuate in comfortable style by staying at hotels instead of in your vehicle.  Have cash in your wallet, cash safely stashed at home, cash in the bank, and cash in investments.
  6. Diversify your assets.  If your only asset is a mountain of GME stock or Dogecoin, your financial security is in a very perilous position.  By diversifying your assets--cash, gold, silver, barterable items, stocks and other investments, cryptocurrency, etc.--you will be able to handle whatever our financial system brings (if cash collapses due to hyperinflation, you will have plenty of barterable items; if crypto is wiped out, you will still have plenty of cash and valuable metals).
  7. Be debt free.  The best place to be financially is owing no one.  The peace it brings you is invaluable, you actually own your assets (like a car or house) instead of the bank owning it, and you can get through financial disasters much easier without a stack of bills to pay each month.
  8. Live below your means and blend in with the neighbors.  Living below your means is a given if you want to be financially secure, it also helps you blend in with the neighbors which makes you and your home less a target for burglary or theft (we are so minimalist that we often joke that if a burglar did break in, they would probably break into the neighbors house just to bring stuff over to our minimal home).  In a world where flashing cash on Instagram and driving a car you can't afford is the norm, doing the opposite will help you stay on the downlow and not bring undue attention to yourself.
  9. Have skills.  What skills do you have that would help you during a disaster, or, in fact, any small day-to-day emergency?  Here is a sample list (there are many more skills to have than this but this list is a good start).  A wide range of skills will help you fix whatever situation you find yourself in as well as provide something to barter with others, it will also increase your leadership abilities, and allow you to provide for friends and family when needed.
  10. Know who you can rely on.  Do you have a wide range of people you can rely on during a disaster?  How does your friend and acquaintance list look?  When I look at my list of friends, family members, buddies, and acquaintances, I realize I could probably start a small country with the wide range of skills and abilities they have.  Of course, you want to be an asset to your friends and relatives as well.  No man is an island and everyone needs help sometimes so cultivate relationships with like-minded people.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

30 Items for Your SHTF Tablet

One item everyone should have in their SHTF arsenal is a tablet that can be used in an emergency situation.  Here are 30 items that should be included in your emergency tablet:

  1. The tablet itself.  I am partial to Android tablets as they are much less locked down than Apple tablets.  YMMV
  2. The operating system.  A nice thing about Android tablets is that they can be "de Googled" and flashed with alternate--and more secure--ROMs like Calyx, Lineage, etc.
  3. Apps.  Again, with Android tablets, they can use an assortment of apps from Play Store apps to fDroid apps, etc.
  4. A tablet wireless plan.  Any old tablet will do but a nice option is to have an LTE tablet so that it can have its own wireless plan (this saves using your cell phone as a hotspot and running down its battery).  If you don't want a monthly post-paid plan, SIM cards for prepaid tablet plans are a good option.
  5. Micro SD cards/appropriate USB thumb drives.  Many Android tablets allow you to use micro SD cards to expand the memory of the tablet; if this isn't an option, using an appropriate thumb drive (USB-C, lightening, etc) to store information on to use with your tablet is a good idea.
  6. A VPN.  While not fool-proof, using a VPN with your tablet is a good idea when it comes to added security.
  7. Battery banks.  One should be conventional which can be charged when you have access to power and the other should be a battery bank that can be charged with solar power.
  8. Local news apps.  A few different local news apps can keep you up-to-date on the latest local news.
  9. National news apps.  Ditto but on a national news level.
  10. Scanner apps.  Listen in on local and national police/fire/etc radio traffic on scanner apps like Broadcastify or Scanner Radio; this is particularly useful during a disaster.
  11. Weather apps.  Weather apps can give you updates on local and national weather and also allow you to be alerted when there is threatening weather in your area.
  12. Map apps.  For everyday use Google Maps and Waze provide useful information for navigating around your city.  It's also a good idea to download offline maps that can be used when you don't have wifi or a cell signal.  Be sure to download free topo maps too.
  13. Radio apps.  There are several good radio apps that allow you to listen to music and news on local, national, and international radio stations.  Using the NextRadio app may allow you to listen to FM radio even when your tablet is offline.
  14. Downloadable survival manuals.  This is where the micro SD cards come in handy as there are a range of offline survival manuals that you can download but they take up a lot of memory.
  15. Emergency Alert apps.  There are a bunch of emergency alert apps that will let you know if there are emergency situations in your area.  These include this one, this one, and this one.
  16. Social media apps.  Another way to both give and receive emergency information is via social media apps.  Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, etc. all allow you to interact with people near and far.
  17. A backup of all of the files on your computer.  All of the files on your computer can be backed up on your tablet for use during an emergency; be sure to use a good file manager app to easily access your files.
  18. First aid apps.  There are a number of first aid apps which work online, as well as a bunch of first aid manuals you can download for offline use.
  19. Messaging apps.  You can use the standard messaging app that comes on your tablet (these may require a work around if it is a cell phone-based app being used on a tablet), more secure messaging apps, and even walkie talkie apps to communicate with loved ones during a disaster.
  20. Banking apps.  During a disaster, your local bank branches may be closed but you can still access your money via banking apps on your tablet.  Using apps like PayPal, Venmo, or Xoom allow you to easily transfer money to other people if needed.
  21. Entertainment apps.  During most disasters there is a lot of panic followed by a lot of waiting...and waiting...and waiting.  Make sure you have apps on your tablet that allow you to access your entertainment options offline like reading downloaded books on Kindle, watching videos and movies offline, listening to music kept on your tablet, playing games offline, etc.  If you do have access to wifi or LTE, Pluto TV is a good alternative for watching TV on your tablet.
  22. Apps that alert you to disasters that are common in your area like tornados, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
  23. Personal safety apps.  You can use apps to find your family members, record and upload interactions, and receive emergency help.
  24. Recipes.  During a disaster--or a pandemic lockdown--you may be cooking at home a lot more.  Unless you have recipes committed to memory, copy and save a range of recipes to help you cook meals from scratch if necessary.
  25. Personal info.  If this information isn't a part of your backed up computer files, use your tablet to take photos of important documents (passport, driver's license, etc), take inventory videos of the contents of your home (for insurance purposes), and scan/save documents like your will, living will, medical power of attorney, banking/investing documents, etc.
  26. Missing person info.  If you were to become separated from your loved ones during a disaster, you would need certain information in order to find them afterwards.  On your tablet have recent photos of each loved one/family member (face and full body), their full name, address, email address, social media handles, social security number, birthdate, photos of tattoos or scars, medical info, etc.  You can save this guide on your tablet which further expands on the information needed when filing a missing person report.
  27. HAM radio apps.  If you are a HAM radio user, having appropriate apps on your tablet (like radio reference for a database of frequencies) can be very useful in a disaster.
  28. Apps for wild edibles and foraging.  Make sure the wild plants you find are safe and edible by using appropriate apps for this.  Ditto if you hunt for wild mushrooms.
  29. General disaster apps.  These can be local or global in scope and cover everything from blast mapping apps to CBRNE response apps.
  30. Other apps which would be useful in an emergency including a flashlight app, a measuring app, notes, web browser, shopping apps, calculator, etc.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

10 Radios to Have on Hand for an Emergency

One of the best ways to get information during a disaster, aside from the plethora of social media platforms, is via radio.  While most people listen to curated media--like Spotify or Pandora--having basic radio capabilities can be invaluable during a disaster.  Here are several types of radios you should have on hand:

  1. HAM radio is a good option both for disasters and entertainment.  While only licensed users can operate HAM radios (except during an emergency), these are great for receiving and providing information during a disaster.
  2. NOAA weather radio.  If you live in an area prone to weather emergencies, a NOAA weather radio can provide a variety of information from emergency alarms to continuous weather information broadcasts.
  3. AM/FM transistor radio.  These radios usually operate via batteries or plugged into an outlet and provide all of the AM and FM stations for news, music, and entertainment.  I keep a small radio of this type in my bug out bag for emergency use during a disaster.
  4. RTL-SDR.  This is software-defined radio which is popular with hobbyists and provides a range of radio services via a special dongle (which can be ordered from Amazon) connected to your computer.
  5. Satellite radio.  This type of radio is most commonly found in vehicles (like Sirius XM radio) and provides radio stations from all over the country.  If you are driving around the country, especially in typically "dead" areas that receive no other type of radio signal, this is a good option.
  6. Radio apps.  There are numerous radio apps you can download to your cell phone to use during an emergency in order to listen to local, national, and international radio stations.  I believe only the NextRadio app allows you to listen to the radio on your phone without cell or wifi service.
  7. An emergency radio.  Emergency radios usually provide AM/FM and sometimes shortwave stations on a radio that can be powered in multiple ways (batteries, plugged in, hand crank, and solar).  This is a great option to have on hand during an emergency due to the multiple power source options.
  8. MP3 radio.  For people who don't want to drain their cell phone battery while listening to music, small MP3 radios (example here) allow you to download your favorite music to the device as well as listen to FM radio all on a tiny usb-chargable device.
  9. Police scanner.  Police scanner radios (either desktop, handheld, or via scanner radio apps) allow civilians to listen in to police, EMS, fire, utility, air, marine, and other radio traffic (note this won't work if you local police radio has been encrypted).
  10. Car radio.  The radio in your vehicle can be a viable option if you have no other way to access news and information via radio in your home during a disaster (just be sure to start your car OUTSIDE of your closed garage to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning).

Monday, April 5, 2021

On Privacy...Or the Lack Thereof

I'll start with the bottom line...unless you leave behind all of your electronic devices (watch, phone, PLB, etc) and hike a good ways into the middle of nowhere, you don't have any privacy.

I could write tomes on how we got to this point--I still fondly remember heading out to the wilderness to hunt for a couple weeks at a time with absolutely no way to contact anyone unless I left a message written on a paper plate, tacked it to a tree, and hoped whoever found it passed along the message (this actually worked on several occasions BTW)--but the erosion of our individual privacy seems to have hit critical mass over the past few years.

As we, in a no doubt futile effort, attempt to thwart the latest invasions to our privacy, there are still some ways you can manage to eek a little bit of privacy into your life...

  • don't use social media and delete your social media accounts.  These days if I want to contact someone I call (insecure), email (minimally secure with ProtonMail), message (ditto with Signal), or send snail mail (not very secure but I have a few old friends who still like written letters so this is more a source of amusement than privacy).
  • I have over the air TV (not traceable), cable internet (minimally private with a VPN), no listening devices (like Alexa, Siri, etc) in my home, dumb TVs (flat screen TVs made before all TVs could connect to the internet), and my electronic devices like phones and tablets are set far enough away that they can be heard but probably can't pick up conversation.
  • pay cash as much as possible.  This has varying degrees of privacy from most (shop at small mom and pop places that don't have video surveillance) to least (big businesses that track everyone who enters their property...even more invasive when they offer "free" wifi, loyalty apps, or even more insidious, in-store key points location tracking that tracks a shopper's every movement).
  • note that while nothing you do online or on your phone is secure, burner phones can be useful (with parameters like one time use only), Linux is probably better than Windows. Graphene is probably better than Google, Brave is better than Chrome, DuckDuckGo is better than Google, and a VPN is kinda-sorta reasonably secure.  In addition modem/router security can be marginally enhanced, and computer security and privacy is an entire topic unto itself.
  • after hearing how dystopian workplaces have become **cough Amazon cough**, I'm pretty glad I am no longer working.  Working from home seems to be a better option than in an office but again, everything you do via a computer with work-related software can delve into your privacy.
  • your vehicle can be tracked in a myriad of ways.  I will note that pre-1994 vehicles don't have black boxes, but license plate readers, toll pass tracking, and with newer vehicles in-vehicle "car-tapping" does happen.  Vehicle hacking can and does happen and it is, in fact, a favorite topic at conferences like DefCon.
Another bottom line, privacy goal posts are continually moving.  Just as soon as a newer, more secure OS is released, hackers are all over it looking for ways to hack it (much to the delight of end users like the government).  Just as soon as a "private social media platform" is created, it can be deplatformed and/or hacked.  Perhaps that why searching "how to disappear from the internet" returns so many pages...