Have you ever thought about how much of your personal information is out there on the web? You may be surprised. Your county property appraiser, your Facebook page, local law enforcement sites, people-finder sites… there are numerous resources on the internet willing to share YOUR information for a small fee or even free.
For as little as $1 someone can get your basic information and for not much more they can get everything from your social security number to your financial and criminal history. Frightening isn’t it? I searched for myself out of curiosity and found my name, address, previous addresses, phone number, age, names of relatives, past position, employer, and my mother’s Facebook picture. (That was just on the first search page.) I am very careful with my personal information so I must admit I was a bit shocked. Fortunately, there are some sites that allow you to remove your information so I do. Unfortunately, there are many that don’t.
I understand that some of you may put your information out there for business or employment opportunities but I’m always surprised at how quickly folks will put their personal information online without thinking. Social networking pages are a wealth of information as well as your “smart” devices. The more information you share, the more “at risk” you are. Have you made yourself a target for identity theft, scam artists, and stalkers? Have you Googled yourself lately? I just like to say Google but any search site will do. The important thing is to research yourself, know what information is out there, take control of what you can, and minimize your risk.