Have you ever wanted to know what information people can find on you? It's a question most of us brush off and say to ourselves, "I've got nothing to hide". But what if I told you I can look you up, just by using your name or phone number, email address, heck even your social media made up name. And I don't need all of them just one will give me the information for the rest. Then I can see who you are related to and where you live. The amount of information I can gather is scary.
This is a disturbing reality in our data driven lives. Once you see what type of information is easily found with a quick search you will start to see that the "I've got nothing to hide" line starts to wear off. There are websites that let you search for people by giving a name and in return you get to know where they live and have lived in the past, who their relatives are, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.
Before these sites became a reality you would have to go down to your local court house to look up public records. If you wanted to know where someone lived or what their phone number is you would have to drive down to the court house put in a request to see the information that you were seeking and then wait to get that information. Compare this to sitting on your couch pulling up this website (www.spokeo.com) and searching for whoever you'd like. Which one would you rather do? Now imagine if I were someone with wrong motives. Now you can see why this is a problem.
I pick on Spokeo because they are the biggest name. But there are
literally hundreds of other similar sites out there that give this type of information out.
The real danger is the gradual erosion of individual liberties through the automation, integration, and interconnection of many small, separate record-keeping systems, each of which alone may seem innocuous, even benevolent, and wholly justifiable.
-----U.S. Privacy Protection Study Commission, 1977
These sites are, in my opinion, very intrusive. You can however ask these site to remove your data. But we are talking about a total of 273 sites that are listed on privacyrights.org that you will need to request your data to be removed from individually. Also you will need to check back ever so often to make sure your data has not been added back. This is something that me nor you have time to deal with. I don't have a silver bullet answer to how you can keep your data off sites like these but I can give you some resources to help.
As I mentioned before Privacyrights.org is a very good resource to help inform you of what is going on with your privacy. They offer advice and help, the latest alerts on privacy, information on the latest data breaches, and a whole lot more. I would recommend you spend some time looking over this site so you are more informed and can tell others about their rights.
Onlinesafety.feministfrequency.com is another site that can equip you with the right information to help fight and prevent your data from being so easily accessible. They help you see the importance of two step verification, strong passwords, and overall data security.
Another site that is available is www.crashoverridenetwork.com. This site helps with people who are fighting online abuse. This is very important to recognize that having your personal information available, so easily, on site like Spokeo is that it make it very easy for someone to abuse you online.
Data privacy is only going to become a bigger and bigger issue as time goes on and technology evolves. Staying informed and informing others is the only real way to protect your data. We here at PC Central Circuit want to keep you informed so that you and your family can stay save and aware. Please subscribe to our news letter and follow us on Facebook. Also if you have any questions about this particular topic please email us at Pccentralcircuit@gmail.com.