Your Personal Details Are Online. What Now?
You found your address on some data mining site. Now what?
If you want to live a normal life–get married, register to vote, rent or buy an apartment or judge your old high school friends on Facebook, you can’t completely avoid having your personal information surface on data mining sites.
DeleteMe helps with the management, monitoring, and removal of personal information from a large number of data broker or data mining sites as well as people search sites in the US.
Uncubed: What sort of personal information that shows up online are customers most concerned about?
Joe Sutton: Home address and age. For address, it seems to be split between people who are worried about their safety and people they do not want to find their location and people with general privacy concerns who are not happy about anyone just being able to pull up their home address for any reason. For age, we have a lot of people who are trying to re-enter the workforce who are concerned their age may be a factor in their chances of procuring a new job.
There are a number of reasons why a customer would want to be concerned. We have lots of customers who have experienced stalking issues, are victims of domestic violence, etc. who are very fearful of being found and are concerned for their safety and the well-being of their family and self. For a person who does not have these issues, it is more for privacy concerns of knowing that at any time you can be located, your information can be added to lists of information for sale to marketers and things of that nature.
It seems like data mining sites have begun to concern consumers only recently. Have they been around for awhile and users are just noticing, or is the problem getting worse?
Data mining sites have indeed been around for a long time and in my experience (I have been doing this for a little more than four years now) people are only now starting to realize it. With more news stories and word of mouth, more and more people seem to be searching for themselves and being made aware of their online footprint and then go looking for solutions and removal information.
How do data mining website get the information they sell and display?
How can we protect ourselves when shopping online?
How much personal information do social media sites share with data mining websites?
For social media sites, they can share your names, age, location, and largely what type of information you are interested in, so it can be sold to agencies to pitch your products and services.
Are there ways to protect your personal information and still be on social media sites?
As for protection, you can set information to private, you can put minimal information down, however, if you are using social media you are largely opening yourself up to having your information being passed around. It is, unfortunately, a give and take and a person would need to decide if having social media accounts was worth it to them knowing more information would be put out there due to these accounts.
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