The internet represents a serious and growing risk for users and their private information. The issue is becoming so serious that the media and the Federal Trade Commission have recently investigated the actual vulnerability of user profiles on Facebook and other social networking sites. Users now post private information online and share information with their “friends” that can quickly lead to identity theft and even robbery, rape and murder. Cases are popping up all over the U.S. where criminals used information found online, or on a social networking website to gather info on their victim, and then use that victim to stalk, rob or otherwise cause harm to their victim. In other cases, information found online is exactly what scammers and criminals need to steal your identity. Make no mistake, the internet is becoming more dangerous, and privacy is losing.
Facebook and Google+ have come under scrutiny of privacy advocates, and for good reason. The social networking sites don’t do enough to protect their users, say many. And even if privacy controls are available, many subscribers don’t know how to implement the changes.
And it’s not just social networking sites where your information is being spread and accessed without your authorization or knowledge. People search sites, websites such as Intelius, Spokeo and Mylife and others are profiting a great deal by accessing public records, and then publishing your private information, such as date of birth, address, criminal records, and even a photo of your house and value of your home on the internet. Google Earth shows a photo of your home, so criminals can see where you live, and how they can get it. All this information combined on the internet means your privacy is gone, violated and published for the world to see.
This violation of privacy puts you at risk for identity theft, internet scams, and financial loss. At the very least, co-workers can now see where you live, get the value of your home, and get your date of birth all by searching the internet, thanks to sites that profit by unlawfully collecting and selling your data. Think no one is searching for such information? Think again. Criminals in Russia, Philippines, China, the Ukraine, West Africa and Romania and in many other countries use this information to scam you, install viruses on your computer, send you spam, and target you.
But social networks are just the tip of the iceberg of the vast data available about you on the internet. Trademarks, criminal records, property records, civil records, family info and more is now available – all without your authorization or consent. Who gave these websites such as 123People and Radaris the right to publish your private information, and sell it to the world???
International private investigators advise caution online. Never provide much personal data on the internet on social networking sites. Remember that anything you publish online could fall into the wrong hands and be used against you. If your private information is being published without your authorization, and your privacy is violated by websites such as Mylife.com, Intelius.com, Radaris.com, Spokeo.com or Peoplefinder.com, contact them directly and demand that they remove your private information from their website. Contact your attorney general and the your congressman to ask for assistance in protecting consumers privacy on the internet.
Never before has privacy been violated on such a massive scale that is taking place today in the United States. Companies are gathering your information, publishing it without your consent, and selling it to the world without your authorization. Take a stand, and fight back!
Best of luck,
© 2012 A Hathaway