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Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the categories below for answers to questions we've received from clients.

  • So what exactly is a Clean Slate Privacy Portfolio?
    Think of Clean Slate Privacy Portfolios as frameworks, similar to the structure of your home. There are foundational elements upon which other features are built upon and require solid footing for the long-term integrity of the structure to remain intact and functional, including a lock on your front door and windows that close. Then depending on your bespoke needs and lifestyle requirements, your will choose to add certain protections, such as smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher. Going further, you may determine that an alarm system and security cameras area appropriate for pragmatic peace of mind and to protect your privacy. Clean Slate’s Core, Enhanced, and Extreme Portfolios provide increased levels of privacy protection. The Core Portfolio provides the basic requirements for building a framework to protect your privacy and the recommended minimum steps to begin protecting your personal information from being stolen or exploited. The Core Portfolio equips you with a masked cellphone number, secure and anonymous email, masked credit cards, monitoring on the Dark Web to alert you in your information has been compromised in data breaches, and anonymous social media accounts on major platforms so you can separate your broad public persona from your more private life. The Enhanced Portfolio of privacy assets provides additional layers of privacy protection, and intentionally seeks to obscure your personal information from prying eyes, whether they be corporations or potential stalkers, harassers, or online trolls. In addition to the foundational tools provided in the Core Portfolio, the Enhanced Portfolio reduces, obscures or deletes significant amounts of your personal information from the internet. The Enhanced Portfolio also placed credit freezes on your profile with the three major credit reporting agencies, which will prevent criminals from opening credit cards in your name, even if they have access to your identification. Because stalkers and harassers may seek to gain access to your home's mailbox and steal your correspondence, the Enhanced Portfolio also protects your privacy with the U.S. Postal Service's Informed Delivery service, which provides you with advance notice via email of the physical letter-sized mail that is scheduled to be delivered to your mailbox. The Extreme Portfolio provides significant privacy protection. Clients are provided with an anonymous, newest-model cellphone with an activated 1st-year service plan. Neither the phone device nor the service plan is registered in the client’s name, so provided the client maintains healthy privacy practices (detailed instructions will be provided with the phone delivery), unwanted third-parties or malicious actors will not be able to reach you. The Extreme Portfolio also provides two layers of protection to obscure your home address. The Level 1 protection provides an out-of-state physical mailing address where you can legally redirect your mail and packages. From that location, the service provider will forward your mail to any location as directed. The Level 2 forwarding destination will be unknown to the original sender. The Level 2 protection provides a more local, in-state physical mailbox where you can physically obtain your mail. You will decide on the appropriate, most convenient location for your Level 2 mailbox. By making your Level 2 mailbox the final delivery destination. Over time, as you change your mailing address to the Level 1 address, your current physical address will become increasingly obscured from prying eyes. The Incognito Portfolio is and additional layer of privacy, offering anonymity including a functional alias identity. Refer to the Incognito Portfolio section of the Frequently Asked Questions for details.
  • How is Clean Slate different from other privacy providers?
    We don’t think a comparable company currently exists to provide a comprehensive range of privacy services. Clean Slate was developed and refined for several real-world situations where privacy tactics, techniques, and procedures were necessary for different important purposes. We designed Clean Slate to take advantage of the most effective and robust “privacy assets” available. With Clean Slate, we provide clients with comprehensive and resilient privacy frameworks in which to go about their daily lives. Maintaining solid privacy habits are like any other healthy habit, such as eating well or exercising regularly. Our goal with Clean Slate is to provide individuals with resources and strategies they can employ continually to protect their privacy.
  • What exactly is a “privacy asset”?
    An asset is a useful or valuable resource, quality, or advantage. We consider the tools, strategies, and resources available through Clean Slate services to be “privacy assets.” Is Clean Slate run by bots or do real human beings do the work? We are trained security and technology professionals and personnel who do the work. Your account is assigned to a Case Manager, who is responsible for organizing, executing, and confirming the privacy services and assets you select. Taking control of privacy requires a hands-on approach to ensure the integrity and resiliency of each of our client’s unique privacy frameworks.
  • I am currently being stalked or harassed. Can you expedite your services?
    First, if you feel that you are in immediate danger, consider calling 911. Some victims of harassment may hesitate contact law enforcement out of concern they might be “bothering” the police or other authorities, but that is not the case. These are by no means the only reasons you might wish to turn to law enforcement for help. In these situations, we always recommend trusting your instincts, with an overabundance of caution. Even if reporting online harassment to your local precinct doesn’t result in immediate action, it will establish a paper trail that might be needed later on to pursue a case. Second, Yes, we can expedite our services. Contact us for a confidential 1-on-1 phone or video consultation. We will discuss your specific requirements and prioritize an action plan to address your immediate needs. Third, more information and recommendations to protect from harassment can be found here, provided by PEN America, a privacy and speech advocacy organization:
  • Will Clean Slate protect my family members?
    Each individual is unique, with distinctive history, credentials, and activities; therefore, each person concerned with their immediate and longer-term privacy is best served by subscribing for their individual portfolio of privacy assets. When adding additional subscribers, some services may overlap with the initial subscription and can be shared. In those situations, the redundant service will be removed from the additional portfolio(s) and the price will be reduced accordingly. Pricing details for family members living at the same home address are available on the Services page.
  • Is this legal?
    Yes, of course. Clean Slate provides defenses against the prying eyes and unwanted reach of threat actors including stalkers, harassers, online trolls, criminals, as well as corporations, data brokers, and social media. Clean Slate is not designed to obscure you or your activities from law enforcement.
  • Can you help me get a fake driver’s license or passport?
    No. That is not what Clean Slate is for. Clean Slate is not designed to obscure you or your activities from law enforcement.
  • How long does it take to receive my privacy assets?
    Certain elements are available immediately, such as secure email and alternate phone numbers. Some elements are available within a few days, such as LLC formation or a new remote mailing address. Other elements, such as Data Broker removal or removing photos of your residence from Google Street View typically require 30 days or more. Rolling out a comprehensive privacy strategy does take a certain amount of time, so we strongly recommend beginning the process as soon as possible. The best strategy is one that is already in place before it is truly needed. The next best strategy, is to put a well-designed plan in place as soon as possible when a solution is needed.
  • Can I just do these strategies on my own?
    Yes, if you are so inclined. Many of the tactics, techniques, and procedures we implement are discussed in detail in our book “Practical Cyber Security for Extremely Busy People.” That manual was written to help privacy-minded individuals protect themselves from online and real-world exploitation. The Clean Slate privacy service grew out of the significant number of inquiries and requests we have received since publishing Practical Cyber Security in 2021. It turns out that, not surprisingly, people from all walks of life are concerned about their personal lives and information being accessible by the outside world. Many people, however, didn’t know where to start in reducing their personal attack surfaces or might not be comfortable with the many different tactics required to build a comprehensive privacy framework for themselves. We built Clean Slate to bring turnkey privacy solutions to the public.
  • Will my neighbors or co-workers know I am using Clean Slate?
    Not unless you tell them. You are responsible for maintaining an appropriate level of discretion and privacy in your daily life. Taking control of your privacy is similar to other healthy habits that need to be maintained thoughtfully over time, such as eating well and exercising regularly.
  • I have questions regarding my personal situation. Whom can I speak with?
    We recommend you request an appointment using our contact form for a confidential discussion. We recognize that each client will likely have questions regarding their privacy needs and are happy to answer your questions and discuss your concerns.
  • What is the Incognito Portfolio?
    Depending on your privacy requirements, you may determine it is prudent to perform certain activities while using an alias. The Incognito Portfolio provides a comprehensive suite of privacy assets that are intended to allow you to move about with greater flexibility and anonymity. There may be many valid reasons using an alias is appropriate to protect personal safety, such as when an individual is in the public eye or perhaps concerned about being monitored or followed by harassers, stalkers or trolls.
  • Is using an alias name legal?
    Using an alias name is legal as long as you are not using your alias to commit fraud. The financial responsibility and legal responsibility associated with your Limited Liability Company are the ultimate responsibility of you under your real identity. It is important that you understand the limitations of using an alias or alternative name. If asked for identification by law enforcement, government officials, or authorized representatives (such as airlines) you must provide your true name, never provide your alias name. Your alias name is not intended to be used for generating income or receiving any form of government assistance or public benefits. Additionally, it is illegal to open new lines of credit using an alias name. You can use your alias name while paying for goods or services at many private establishments, such as real-world and online shopping, dining, certain travel, lodging, memberships, subscriptions, and other activities.
  • What does the Incognito Portfolio provide?
    The Incognito Portfolio provides you with a functional alias, including a name, physical mailing address, phone number, and email addresses. By creating a legally-incorporated Limited Liability Company, you will be able to acquire additional resources, including a corporate credit card that can be used for purchases. You will receive non-government-issued forms of identification, including a corporate photo ID card and business cards. To maintain your privacy while traveling, the Incognito Portfolio provides certain resources that are intended to assist you with discrete lodging and ground transportation services.
  • Can I just purchase Incognito security?
    Purchasing Incognito security as a standalone service is possible, however, we strongly recommend against this as a long-term privacy approach. Because our personal lives and personal privacy are so exposed in today’s society, we strongly believe reducing our personal “attack surface” is critical to maintain vigilant separation from an Incognito profile. Without controlling your existing privacy, the potential for cross-contamination of profiles exists, reducing the effectiveness of your Incognito profile.
  • Is Clean Slate a one-time purchase or subscription service?
    Certain privacy assets require a one-time setup, and then operate in perpetuity at no additional cost. Other services, such as secure email or data broker removal, require annual renewal with associated fees. Pricing for the different Clean Slate portfolios is provided in the Services page.
  • Are there additional charges or incremental fees I should know about?
    Depending on your activity, there may be additional minor fees incurred. To use a masked credit card, for example, the credit card processing company charges a $2.00 transaction fee for each new credit card number created, which is charged at the time of use.
  • Why do I need new email addresses?
    Most ad-based email providers ─ such as Google’s Gmail ─ are not private. Email messages are actively scanned and read by those email providers or third parties (such as the apps on your phone or computer) to gather your personal information and interests for marketing and profiling purposes. A major first step in reducing your privacy “attack surface” is to close up the areas where your information is being accessed by prying eyes. As a key asset in all our portfolios, you will receive a new ProtonMail email account which includes five distinct email addresses you can used to send and receive messages. Having five email addresses will help compartmentalize and “air gap” different, important aspects of your daily life. The five categories include: Private Life, Work, Public Face, Money and Security, and Shopping/Miscellaneous. You can have your existing email addresses forwarded to the appropriate new email address, and we recommend you begin using your new, private email addresses for future correspondence. You can still keep your old email addresses active to ensure you don’t miss any incoming mail, but with your new ProtonMail account you are now in much greater control of your privacy.
  • What are disposable email addresses?
    Disposable email addresses are throwaway addresses you can use, for example, when required to provide an email address for services that provide no medium- or long-term benefit, such as making one-time purchases, scheduling reservations, or other activities where you don’t want to receive future advertisements or announcements. Disposable email addresses also help you avoid your true email address be sold to data brokers or other marketers.
  • Why do you use ProtonMail as the primary email provider?
    We recommend using encrypted email that does not allow the email provider to read the messaging in your emails (known as zero access encryption), which also prevents your emails from being shared (or sold) to third parties. Our baseline email platform is ProtonMail, which is based in Switzerland and protected by strict Swiss privacy laws. All user data is protected by the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Swiss Federal Data Protection Ordinance (DPO) which offers some of the strongest privacy protection in the world for both individuals and corporations. As ProtonMail is outside of US and EU jurisdiction, only a court order from the Cantonal Court of Geneva or the Swiss Federal Supreme Court can compel ProtonMail to release the extremely limited user information they have.
  • Why do I need a masked phone number?
    To protect your privacy going forward, a masked phone number that forwards to your current cellphone can provide an immediate layer of protection when you need to provide a phone number for any reason, whether it is for business, shopping, or even online dating. If you become the target of harassment, you can replace that masked number with a new one while keeping you insulated.
  • With the Extreme Portfolio, why do I need a separate cellphone, can’t I just use my current device?"
    If you seek to take control of your privacy, we recommend migrating away from your current cellphone number over time. As you adopt and use the other privacy assets in your portfolio, continuing to use your current cellphone for important communications presents a significant point of weakness in your privacy framework. Think of how many years you have been attached to that phone number, and how many ways it has been freely given out – online purchases, frequent shopper accounts, work, personal miscellaneous activities. If someone desires to gather information on you, your existing cellphone number is a prime place to start. The Extreme Portfolio provides significant privacy protection. Clients are provided with an anonymous, newest-model cellphone with an activated 1st-year service plan. Neither the phone device nor the service plan is registered in the client’s name. Provided the client maintains healthy privacy practices (detailed instructions will be provided with the phone delivery), unwanted third-parties or trolls will not be able to reach you. Since malicious actors will not know the anonymous phone number is connected with you, they will not look to hack the device or harass you via that phone number.
  • What is secure messaging?
    State-of-the-art end-to-end encryption keeps your conversations secure. The texting app platform can't read your messages or listen to your calls, and no one else can either. This service is also used by journalists and human rights defenders to keep their communications secure.
  • What is a secure Image Vault?
    The Image Vault secures personal photos and videos by locking them down with PIN protection, fingerprint authentication, and military-grade encryption. It’s the best place for hiding personal pictures and videos and keeping them private. Once imported into the Image Vault, you can choose to easily delete those photos from your phone’s public photo gallery while still view them in your Image Vault.
  • What are masked credit cards?
    A masked credit card is a disposable credit card number that is generated to make either a one-time purchase or a recurring purchase to a specific merchant. It doesn't require creating or opening a new credit card account. Instead, it is an added layer of protection for your existing accounts. Masked credit cards (otherwise known as virtual cards) have a built-in limit, so there's no risk of hidden charges or data breaches.
  • What is a credit freeze and why do I need one?
    A credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, is a method used to protect you from identity theft and fraud. It restricts access to your credit report until you lift the freeze or "thaw" it. Having a freeze in place will not harm your credit scores, but it will prevent your report from being viewed to determine scores unless you first lift the freeze. Freezing your credit can help prevent identity thieves and other criminals from using stolen personal information (your Social Security number, for instance) to apply for new credit in your name. Since checking your credit report and credit scores are typically the first steps in processing any credit application, freezing your credit at the national credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) can help stop unauthorized credit accounts from being opened.
  • I already have social media accounts, why do I need additional anonymous accounts?"
    Just like any celebrity or public figure, you too should separate your private personal life from your public persona. There may be social media posts that you want to share with the broader public or general acquaintances. There may also be other information that should only be shared with your closest, trusted relationships. It is important to separate the two so that you can control who knows what information about you.
  • What is a Google Alert?
    Google Alerts is a content change detection and notification service that Google provides. We recommend creating Google Alerts to search for your name, to alert you if you appear in any newly generated content. When the service finds new results—such as web pages, newspaper articles, blogs, or scientific research—that match the user's search term, it sends an email notification to the user who requested the alert.
  • What is U.S. Postal Service Informed Delivery?
    Criminals, harassers, and stalkers have been known to steal mail out of their victim’s mailboxes, enabling those threat actors to acquire personal details, credit cards or checks, and other valuable information without the victim being aware mail had even gone missing. The U.S. Postal Service’s Informed Delivery service notifies you of the mail that will be delivered to your mailbox. Informed Delivery provides a daily email with greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mail pieces and tracking information on packages to be delivered. You will know in advance what mail is being delivered, and will be able to determine if any mail has gone missing.
  • With the Extreme Portfolio, who do I need alternate mailboxes?"
    The Extreme Portfolio provides two layers of protection to obscure your home address. The Level 1 protection provides an out-of-state physical mailing address where you can legally redirect your mail and packages, including bills, correspondence, packages, certified and registered mail, magazines, and even junk mail. From that Level 1 out-of-state location, the service provider will forward your mail to any next location as directed. The Level 2 forwarding destination will be unknown to the original senders of correspondence, only the Level 1 service provide will know the Level 2 forwarding address. The Level 2 protection provides you with a local, in-state physical mailbox where you can obtain your mail. You will decide on the appropriate, most-convenient location for your Level 2 mailbox. Over time, as you change your mailing address to the Level 1 address, your current physical address will become increasingly obscured from prying eyes.
  • What are Data Brokers, and why do I need to be removed from them?"
    Data brokers are businesses that gather personally identifying information from a variety of sources to compile individual profiles or listings. The personal details that data brokers collect are often highly detailed, ranging from your name(s), phone numbers, and date of birth to your political affiliations, hobbies, job title, and relatives. These profiles are then sold to almost anybody who is willing to pay for them, including advertisers, marketers, insurance firms, government organizations, political consultants, and criminals. Data brokers use both public records and private sources to gather data about individuals. Public records include census data, property surveys, DMV records, wedding certificate documents, and bankruptcy records to name a few examples. Private sources of data include social media, announcements, and self-reported details such as blogs. If a harasser or stalker wanted to find out where you live, your personal details, or who your relatives are, for example, that information can be easily purchased from a data broker for very low cost, leaving you vulnerable to exploitation.
  • What is the Dark Web? Why would my information be on it?
    The Dark Web (also called the Deep Web) is the portion of the internet that exists on darknets: unlisted networks that require specific software, settings, or authorization to access. Private computer networks may communicate and conduct transactions anonymously via the Dark Web without revealing personal information such as a user's location. The Dark Web can also be used to acquire or trade stolen credit card data, usernames and passwords, and personal identifying information. There have been several high-profile data breaches in which millions of customers' or account holders' personal information has been stolen.
  • What do I do if Clean Slate finds my personal information on the Dark Web?
    If Clean Slate’s system finds your personal information on the Dark Web, you will be notified promptly of the account that was breached. We recommend you change your password on the breached account immediately.
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