For whatever reason let’s say you’ve decided to start off 2017 by disappearing. Maybe you’re going off the grid because of society issues or whatever reason. I won’t ask. Here are 10 stupid things to do to when you’re trying to stay hidden.

The obvious stupid things to do when you’re trying to hide.

1. Check your Facebook.
You will need to shut down all social media and email. Say goodbye to Facebook, even under fake names and fake photos. You will have to get off the internet completely. Pretend it’s 1980.

2. Don’t remove your photos and contact information from online.
Before you disappear, Google yourself to see what is out there about you and take whatever steps you can to remove any and all of it.

3. Call people on your cell phone.
Get rid of your cell phone. If you really need to talk to someone, get a pre-paid phone for yourself and the other person and use a pre-paid calling card when dialing. Use this phone strictly and only to talk to your contact.

4. Don’t change your appearance. 
Adopt a different look, different hair color or style. Break all of your old patterns of dress and grooming.

The advanced stupid things to do when you’re trying to hide.

5. Buy things with a credit card or carry cash.
Let’s face it, if you don’t have a job your cash is eventually going to dwindle. Get yourself some gift cards for grocery stores and apparel stores that never expire. Get small amounts so if you lose a card, you’re not losing hundreds of dollars worth of assets.

6. Don’t clear your computer hard drive after you’re done searching for ways to hide.
Don’t just clear it, because that still leaves traces of information dust. Smash it, boil it, then throw it in a landfill.

7. Don’t throw off a fake trail.
Before you’re done going off the grid completely, you could leave a few “clues” as to where you might be doing that are completely opposite of the truth.

Expert ways to hide.

8. Disappear right away. Pay your rent or mortgage up a couple of months ahead of time. Tell your neighbors you’re going on a long vacation to the other side of the country to help your aging parents. Whatever it is, have a story so by the time someone starts looking for you, you have a 2 or 3 month head start.

9. Don’t keep moving. Stay in one place for a while, so you’re leaving traces. Remember, a tracker can tell if someone is hiding out even if you think you’re being cautious. An off-road bicycle might be a good option.

10. Go somewhere you’ve talked about going before. Definitely don’t go to Mexico if you’ve told all of your friends and family your whole life that you want to go to live off the grid in Mexico. That’s the first place they’ll look.

These are some basic ways to hide. What else?