Internet Security And Safety - Other

How to Find out if your Personal Information is available on the Internet



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If you have an Internet presence, your personal information is available on the Internet in blogs, social networks, writing forums, message boards, and from any of the public record information databases. Do you belong to any associations? Search engines find them.

Employment recruiters routinely search the Internet for new applicants. When recruiters receive your resume, before they consider you seriously, they may do a search for you on the Internet.

In addition to doing a background employment search, they can search your personal blogs, social network find out where you hang out. Your Internet presence can gain points for you with an employer, or it can have negative results.

The public record database searches include you and everyone with your name. By doing a search on one of these information databases, you (or others) can find voter registration, vehicle accidents, birth and death certificates, court records and criminal backgrounds. Owners and apartment building managers can check out potential tenants on the Internet.

I did a search of myself on Google, Ask.com and Dogpile.com. The three of them had information on me by my pen name and by my real name. I did find something interesting that I didn't know: Target is now selling my book.

It's disturbing to find that so much of our personal information is on the Internet, but as you might suspect, I found even more than I bargained for in my search.

Google is the largest and most powerful search engine organization. What you might not know is that in addition to the information it shares about you on the Internet, there is a ton of information that it doesn't share. You, however, should know what that information is and how it's used.

If you have a gmail account, you're given 2 gigabytes of free storage. That information is scanned for content and related ads are presented to you. Using emails for marketing purposes doesn't seem too evil, but do you want your email content scanned?

When you use the Google search engine, your search history can reveal a lot about you like your beliefs, associations and other personal information. Cached copies of web pages that you visit are saved and your activities are linked to your Internet identity. This information remains in the Google database for a very long time.

Google can also scan your desktop files for you. Do you dare?

The growing concern amongst Internet identity security professionals is that the information could fall into the wrong hands. We've all heard of hackers and unethical people on the inside of an organization that steal information. The potential for privacy disaster is there.

Perhaps we've become too trusting about our Internet use. If you're not so trusting and want to learn more about how to protect your computer from prying and snooping, take a look at the website listed below. There's free stuff there.



http://epic.org/privacy/tools.html

 

More about this author: Mona Gallagher

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