As fraud explodes, your personal information is at risk and so is your personal and financial safety.
Companies are taking your personal information without your permission and making it public, thus placing you in danger from stalkers and Here are some ways to take action to protect your privacy.
Whether you know it or not, someone is looking for you and it’s probably not someone who is your friend.
You may think you have do not have any enemies. You may believe that there is no one in the world who wishes to harm you.
But, the fact is the problem of hacking and other fraudulent business practices has exploded just in the past few months and there are very wicked people who work for unscrupulous companies who will try to steal from you or compromise your safety in other ways. And, they are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
If you’ve ever had a stalker or have been the victim of the fraud in business that is so rampant at this time and continues to flourish with total impunity, then you most definitely have enemies.
If you are a woman, you have enemies. These are people who may see photographs of you – even professional photos you use for your work – and decide to make contact with you. These people may pose as clients or customers, but they harbor a more sinister agenda.
If you have children, you have enemies on-line and in real life. Your children have enemies. This is an extremely unpleasant thought, but it is reality. There are people who enjoy or even make a living by victimizing innocent people and the internet is a wonderland for them.
Anyone can become a victim of information theft on-line, which can put you or yourself in harms way. And, they only person who might be able to protect you from these crimes is you.
Stop Giving Them Information They Can Use Against You
Your honesty, openness friendliness and gullibility online is being used against you by unscrupulous criminals.
The way to stop them is to stop giving them your information. You may be able to mitigate some of the damage by having compromised information removed.
You may recall the quote from Facebook founder’s infamous Instant Message where he refers to users of his social networking site as “dumb f*cks” for trusting him with their personal information. This seems to be the general attitude where social networking sites and other sites that parasitically make their profits off your personal data and personal images.
Where to begin with keeping your private information private and undoing damage that may have already occurred:
Type your name into search engines, primarily Google and Yahoo. Insert your name and address in combination. Then, insert your name and phone number. Then do an image search. Click on the links to the sites that come up and search them to see what kind of information they are storing about you.
The information you find comes from information you have given someone, possibly believing that it would not be shared or sold. Look for sites displaying your personal information or personal images without authorization.
If you own your own web sites, be conscious of how they are crawled by the search engines. You will have to register your site with each search engine and request a robot.txt file be placed in the root directory (not at your personal server, but at the search engine’s).
To figure out how to do this, Google the phrase “How to add a robot.txt file to (name of search engine at issue.)”
If some information or images have been compromised by the search engines, you can go into this same account and have cached pages and images removed. Removal takes a few days with Google. Yahoo seems to take a lot longer and it may not be possible to remove them there, at all.
Generally, it takes 90 days for the spider to crawl the web. So, if you simply remove information or images, without taking any other action, the usually disappear from search engines after about 90 days.
Your images and personal information on web sites are pulled up based on your name. If you put your name, address and telephone number out, either on your own web site or when you sign up at someone else’s web site for an account, it could easily end up being made public.
Just because something is on the internet doesn’t make it public property. But, that doesn’t keep all kinds of companies from stealing it.
A number of sites claiming to be designed connect you with old friends or classmates can, also, connect you with stalkers and a variety of other criminals. If you are experiencing personal privacy or security issues, you should not use these sites. But, you should still check them because of their questionable practices of culling information on the internet, which they seem to believe is “public!”
An example of a social networking site, which is taking people’s information without authorization, including images is MyLife.com which used to be Reunion.com. If you see their ads on television, you might believe that you have to go there and register for an account to listed in their system. This is not the case. They troll for information from sites like Twitter, taking your personal, private information and images and calling it “public” property. If you find your information on their site or any other such site, call them on the telephone and ask them to remove it.
Clearly, no one has the right to use your personal images without your permission. It is copyright infringement and it is theft. Unfortunately, the penalties for this are not stiff, at all. The most you can usually do is request their removal.
Other common offenders are telephone directory listings. Pay attention to what information they are storing about you.
Be aware of what information you put at major social networking sites. The biggest ones to watch are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This information, which you are usually told is private, is being trolled by other web sites to obtain your personal information, you address, your phone number and other personal information including photographs of you and your family members and friend.
Another area in which to take caution, particularly if you know you are being pursued by stalkers or some other kind of criminal element, is government. Take care what kind of information you provide to government agencies.
Generally, any information you give them, they believe they own and may make public without regard to you or your family’s safety.
There are more ways to secure your safety on-line and in real life depending on how much security you feel you need. These are only a few ideas to help you become more aware and encourage you to take action to protect yourself.