Privacy Settings Not So Private

Have you ever wondered what others could find out about you from the internet?  What information have you provided to websites that you may think is “private.”  You may want to think twice before posting personal information online.  For those of you who think your Facebook page is private, or your identity is protected when you purchase products online need to think again.

Just last night I had some friends over for dinner and we were discussing my recent increased use of Twitter and blog sites to personally brand myself.  I commented on by just doing these few things online I am now five of the top six hits on Google.  My friend than asked if I had checked to see if any of my personal information was out there that I might not know about; I was confident that my personal information was protected and was not concerned.  He then told me about the website Spokeo.com, which allows anyone to search a name and pull up physical addresses, email addresses, photos, links to social networking sites and even how much money they make.  I was confident that since I do not share my phone number or address on any of my social networking sites that I would not be found.  I was very wrong, when I typed in my first and last name my last two addresses popped up immediately, even my apartment number!  I was shocked and upset that anyone in the world could have searched for me and shown up at my front door.  I immediately went to Spokeo’s privacy setting and requested they remove the information but knowing that this information was available online without my knowledge worries me.

What else is out there that I don’t know about?  How did this site get my address?  My first thought was maybe when I have made past purchases online my address may have been put out into the cyber world, or maybe my information was sold to this company, but I really have no idea.  This just proves my point that nothing is private online, nothing is safe, personal information can be put out there without your knowledge for anyone to see.  Be careful what you put on the web and remember nothing is private, even though its claimed to be.

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7 responses to “Privacy Settings Not So Private

  1. This is really scary about the online world! I didn’t know about that website and they have no business placing information like addresses on there. Your post definitely demonstrates the lack of privacy on the web! Great job Reina!

  2. Melissa Paschal

    Scary!

  3. Thank you Ashley! I really appreciate the feedback.

    Melissa – I know tell me about it!

  4. Good blog! I didn’t know there were sites out there like that! I always think the same thing, I never give out my address or phone number online so I am sure it’s not out there…pretty scary! Thanks for the info about that site 🙂

  5. Crazy to see a website that puts all your information together. I was really shocked be the social media part. I went to the website and pulled up my name and it has all the current information up there for me. I know that when I worked in mortgage and pulled customers credit reports it would show all there past and current employment, housing, and different variations used for their name. It was crazy to see but financial institutions use this information all the time when qualifying. Also, I was able to look up county record for customers that own homes and all there information is in the records right online. So I guess it is not all that scary for me to see. If someone really wanted to find you there are lots of ways to get the information this site just makes it easier.

  6. It is scary. I am going to stop buying things from online because when search my name it find my old address and who is my sibling. GREAT ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Thank you Jessica, Adam and Aminul for your comments and for reading my blog! Hopefully this just opens people’s eyes a little more and to be more careful with what they share online.

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