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Mrs. Covert's Spy Lesson #2 : Hiding Things

If you are going to find other peopleís secrets, you need to know how to hide things. When I was robbed, I came home to find the obvious stuff like my television missing, and my top and bottom dresser drawers pulled out and dumped. Those drawers were where I kept spare money, presents I was going to give, jewelry. The policeman who came to investigate told me that thieves know that most people put their valuables in the top and bottom drawers of their dressers. So, if you want to protect your valuables as well as your secrets, and you don't want to go to the expense of having a home security system, you have to think of places to hide them that a normal thief, or even a clever thief wonít have time to find.

Youíve seen the standard secret hiding places:

Books with cutouts on a section of pages, providing a hollow hiding place. No thief has time to shake out all your books.

Cans that look like they contain tennis balls, or pet food. Again, no thief has time to try to open all your kitchen cans. But donít put a pet food can in your bedroom. That looks suspicious, and a thief has time for one or two unusual looking containers.

Outlet boxes that go behind your electric outlets or switches. Thereís not much room there, but it could be perfect for a secret formula or phone list. Again, no thief has time to unscrew all your outlets and switch cover plates.

Extra Pipe in the laundry room. If you have secret plans, such as blue prints to hide, you can always buy some plastic plumbing at a hardware store and install it going across your laundry room. No thief has time to figure out that the plumbing isnít attached to your water system. Itís just a pipe where pipes usually go.

The important thing about hiding secrets is not to make them look like secrets. You can get elaborate and remove a leg from a couch (the plastic ones are usually hollow, or you could hollow out the center of a wooden leg) to hid small items such as microchips, or even a roll of film. Donít put your valuables into a medicine bottle. A thief might want your medicine to sell on the street. A loose floorboard isnít good if you are hiding things from your family. They probably already know where all the loose boards are in your room. When they suspect you have secrets, thatís the first place theyíll look.

The more your hiding place looks like a permanent part of your house, or like something that wonít sell easily at a flea market, the better hiding place it is.

If you want to hide information on your hard drive, you can encrypt it so a spy who is searching your hard drive wonít be able to read it. You can use your own code, or a computerized code such as the free one at: http://www.spymuseum.org/cipher/ Just donít forget your password, or put it in a safe hiding place.

The key points to remember: A thief is in a hurry. Make your hiding place look like a normal part of the room Ė not just something you put in a drawer. Drawers are easy to pull out and dump. I found that out the hard way. A little time spent in thought and preparation will keep your secrets safe.


Mrs. Covert

How to make a hollow book:


The MIT Guide to Lockpicking:


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Lesson Three:  Detecting Lies

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