Privacy Protection: What Privacy?

They do not call it the “World Wide Web” for nothing. It is a spider-web, and it is world wide the information that is about you and is out there for everyone to see, if they really wanted to. The spider on the web is anyone who searches your name using different programs or services provided online, and it is amazing what comes up.

Say someone wants to know what you are up to. By tracking the electronic foot prints left behind by email, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or even just account activity, they can learn a lot about you in a short amount of time, about the time it takes to load a page. The world of today where there are no walls and information is out there flying around can be a dangerous one, if you are not careful.

The information that is out there can be grabbed by people search engines like Pipl, Spokeo, and CVGadget. It is not illegal, they are doing nothing wrong in the eyes of the internet police, but it does invade our privacy even if the information is out for people to see. It is like putting your dirty laundry out in front of the house, even clothes with small stains, the fact remains that our personal stuff can be easily accessed by anyone. Creepy.

So what can you do about it?

Put a stop to the mountain of information on you that is being collected by these search engines as you read this. First check out for yourself how much is out there by searching your name. Rapleaf is a provider with an open tool to let you see everything, while the other search engines only let you see bits and pieces. By going to that site you can actually manage what people see about you. No more spying from your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, no more parental espionage, no more privacy pillaging! By ‘Opting-out’ on Rapleaf’s website, you can permanently delete all that saved information that Rapleaf has on you.

Another way to stop prying eyes is to adjust the privacy settings. This means going to all the sites connected to your email address and changing them individually

  • Amazon: Wish Lists are made public by default. To change that setting, go to this page and select the option to sign in. You can then view any Wish Lists associated with your account and designate them as private.
  • Facebook: Once signed in, look under the ‘Settings’ tab at the top of the page to find the privacy control panel. Click the Profile option to set parameters regarding who can view your content.
  • MySpace: Click the My Account button at the top of the page after logging in, then click Privacy to adjust your settings. Bear in mind that your age and location are typically displayed publicly even if your profile is set as private, as was the case in one of the examples cited in “They Know Your Dark Secrets…And Tell Anyone.”
  • Pandora: Your playlists are public unless you specify otherwise. Once logged in, click Account at the top of the page, and then follow the option to edit your profile info. From there, you’ll see a checkbox that you can select to make your profile (and thus your playlists) private.

By doing this, you prevent search from sites like Pipl and Spokeo from getting into your private information like what music you like, who your girl or boyfriend is, where you live, the list goes on and on. Take back control of your privacy. Don’t let weirdo’s or people who do not need to see your personal life get the best of you. Who knows what people will do with information like that. You can protect your privacy even when you are on the web, these are ways to catch those spiders crawling around looking for trouble.

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