Protecting Your Privacy from Public Information Websites
Summary: Public information websites or “people search” sites, such as Spokeo, Intelius, and PeopleFinders are actually data brokers: businesses that profit by compiling and selling your personal information. It puts your privacy and identity at risk, it may not even be accurate, and it’s all perfectly legal. Find out how it happens and how you can stop it.
For $20, a criminal can instantly get enough personal information to invade your privacy or steal your identity, and it’s 100% legal.
Imagine this: for $20, a criminal can find out your name, address, phone number, the names of your family members, your income, your tax records, your debts, whether you own your home, any legal trouble or disputes you’ve been involved in, and more. Now stop imagining because it’s true, and it’s all perfectly legal. Public information or “people search” sites, such as Spokeo, Intelius, and PeopleFinders, make their money by selling information about people like you. (These sites are a kind of “data broker,” a business that makes money by compiling information from a variety of sources and then selling or licensing it to other businesses or individuals.)
You can’t control what personal information these people search sites publish, and they’re not even required to make sure the information is accurate. The reports they compile are available to anyone, from prospective employers, landlords, and lenders to criminals looking to invade your privacy or steal your identity. The good news is that you can fight back.
Article originally posted on the IDX website.
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