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People Search and Public Records: Your Privacy Lost

People Search and Public Records: Your Privacy Lost

Do you use social media?  Is your life too public online? Have you seen your name and personal information appear in the search results?  Be careful and pay attention to this. It seems like in today’s world people are used to sharing a lot online. Their whole lives are connected to the internet, but not everyone likes to share their lives and thoughts for the whole world to see. Many people are also concerned about the loss of privacy that the internet has caused and have are changing their online behavior.  Why?  Because the more information about you on the internet, the more at risk you and your family members are for identity theft, blackmail, harassment, scams and fraud, and other more serious crime.  Do you like to view your home on Google Maps?  You’re not the only one.  So do criminals!

Others have never opened a Facebook profile, and don’t know about Instagram, and don’t do online dating.  Some people might not even use the internet.  But, nevertheless, too much of their private data (yes we know they are “public records”) are found on the internet, putting even people who don’t use the internet in harm’s way.  International investigators and law enforcement know the less about you online, the safer you are.  Criminals use the internet to track their victims, and one of the biggest risk people now face is the violation of privacy from people search websites.

Search engines make their money by tracking and keeping all the information from your search queries and the sites you visit, so they can use this information to guarantee advertisers that their money is being well spent by showing relevant ads.  Years later, search engines might even offer your information to the government or police, or maybe the government can already access the data.  Internet users who are serious about their privacy are now turning to DuckDuckGo as one solution for safer searching.

But, search engines are not the only ones tracking and collecting and selling your data.  Big money is being made in the business of “public records” and it turns out, just about everything is “public record” in the United States thanks to the corrupt government officials who are influenced by big data mining companies.  So-called people search or people finder websites, and even so-called “background check” websites that don’t even have a single investigator or conduct any real investigation, are in on the game.  When Wymoo International refers to a background check, we are referring to real background check investigations, to properly verify an individual or company.  When people search websites mention a “background check,” they are referring to privacy for sale, and checking criminal records online.

People search sites collect, distribute and sell your data down the river, all for a very low price!

So when you look for an old friend in school with whom you lost contact, after making a regular online search, you might try a people search website.  And, for a small amount of money, you might even get lucky and get a phone number or address that is actually up to date and valid.  It seems harmless enough, but you might not be the only one searching for your old friend.  Criminals who use this data for illegal and harmful activity.

More people are learning about the risk, and trying to be anonymous because they want to protect their privacy and avoid identity theft, or the sales calls or junk mail.  Not to mention the identity theft scams and hackers!  But, until something is done or laws change, people search sites are making the problem much worse,  and putting the privacy and safety of all of us at serious risk.

Surfing the web anonymously is now a possibility if you set your privacy settings correctly, and use the right search engine. You can protect the information you share in social networks with the right tools and settings, or even decide you don´t want to share anything. But online public records from state and local government (who profit from this game as well) cannot be stopped, for now.

Sites like Reputation.com are useful for those who need help removing themselves from the vast number of websites selling your data, and offer a great service to deal with people search problem.

People search services violate your privacy in ways that would be unheard of in other countries.  Currently in the U.S., these sites publish your full name, date of birth, names of relatives, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and more. A treasure trove for criminals!  And, top off the package with a photo of your home and directions on how to get there.  Combine this with your social media posts that you’re away on vacation for the next two weeks, or home alone, and…. you get the idea.  In today’s world, an open book is a bad idea.

Although it is almost impossible to get rid of the information (or misinformation) that these sites have on you, there are ways to make things a little harder for them. International private investigators recommend you to share less online, especially in social media.  Check your privacy settings, and review your list of “friends” carefully.  Never reveal your true date of birth and other important data.  Create a second email address for privacy reasons to give out, and share less with companies and governments.  When forced to provide information, consider providing false or outdated information.  Write your senators, congressmen, governor and privacy advocates about the loss of privacy and take a stand next voting season.  Last but not least, get a PO Box and make your phone number unpublished.  Start the fight to take back your privacy.

Live a better life with the government and criminals out of your business!

C. Wright
© 2014 Wymoo International
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© Copyright 2014 Wymoo International.  All Rights Reserved.  This content is the property of Wymoo International, LLC and is protected by United States and international copyright laws.

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