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.