Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected is a book by Jason Hanson, who has become more popular since appearing on ABC's “Shark Tank” and making a deal with Daymond John. Despite the “CIA” angle that is used for marketing, this book contains some solid advice on safety, security and survival.
The book is written in a conversational style that is easy to understand and conveys information that most people really should know. I teach the same and similar information in my safety programs. The book is divided into these twelve chapters:
One: Survival Intelligence. A good primer on being self-reliant and why you should know the information in this book. I really like that he points out that movement saves lives.
Two: Situational Awareness. The cornerstone of staying safe, and Hanson bases his chapter on the classic color code of Col. Cooper. I liked that he also includes some pre-incident indicators and the concept of establishing a baseline.
Three: Your Spy Escape And Evasion Kit. Good basic guide to gear to have on you, in your car, at your home, and ready to bug out.
Four: Become An Escape Artist. This chapter teaches the basics to escape from rope, handcuffs, zip ties and duct tape. Also explains the basics of hot wiring a car, and how to break car windows. Very bare bones information on picking locks.
Five: The Impenetrable Home. Strategies to criminal proof your home such as thinking like a criminal, delivery people, casing your own home, dogs, peepholes, doors, locks, alarms, lighting, windows, and so on.
Six: Travel Safety. Tip to travel safe. These include when flying, taxis, hotels, and where you go.
Seven: How To Run Countersurveillance Like a Pro. Most people are probably not being followed, but knowing how to tell if someone is following you and what to do it good to know. This chapter covers the basics regarding this topic.
Eight: Social Engineering Secrets. I liked that he included this because it is important to understand to help keep yourself from being ripped off with scams, or being lured into something bad.
Nine: How To Be A Human Lie Detector. This chapter examines some of the basic ways you can determine if someone is lying.
Ten: How To Disappear Without A Trace. I like that Hanson points out that it is much more difficult to live off the grid and disappear than it used to be. With that said, he provides some tips for those that for some reason need to disappear.
Eleven: The Art Of Survival Driving. Hanson teaches a survival driving course in Utah, and this chapter is an introduction to the topic with a few basics explained like the Reverse 180 and how to ram a car. Some good basic tips on being safe while driving also included.
Twelve: Defending Yourself. Short chapter on what you can learn, with a plug for tactical pens which Hanson sells at his website. (I actually have a number of tactical pens, including the one Hanson sells, and it is a good pen for defensive purposes if needed.) Short chapter that gets you thinking about what you need to do in order to learn to defend yourself.
Overall, I like the book, Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life, because I am all for everything to help people live safer lives so they can enjoy the good stuff. It is a basic book, with resources out there that go more in depth on all the topics covered. However, it is nice to have all these basics in one volume, and then people can learn more on the topics they need to know more about for their lifestyle.
It's a quick, easy read with some basic, practical information that will help people stay safe.
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