Thursday, June 23, 2011


I know a lot of people are worried about their privacy online.  It isn't something I have given all that much thought to as I don't really do much social networking, but my husband is very proactive about checking our status "out there."  He sent me a link to a site called Spokeo and said I needed to check it out and then attached the link to have my info deleted.

Of course, the trick with many of these sites is that you have to subscribe to see all the info available.  But the "info" they had on me was partly correct and partly a laugh riot.  One of the listings had me living with my son and  mother-in-law, who has been deceased for 25 years.  They listed me as the owner of our rented home.  They did have the address and phone number correct, and that I am a Sagittarius and in my mid-50's.

The claim, if you pay, is that they can fill you in on my hobbies, religion, employment, politics, financial health, education and more.  What is there, I don't know.  I suspect if I have listed any of those things in the minimal profiles I have on Facebook, Linked-in, or even on Blogger;  that information has been gathered into this report on me.  They are also using mailing lists because we still receive mail for my dead MIL and since she lived and died in New York, I can't imagine how else they would have made a connection to us.

I checked out the reports on a couple of my friends.  One woman, married for 28 years is listed as single and her religion as Catholic, which couldn't be further from reality.  Another friend's listing has a very nice photo of her house with a lot of contact information, including the suggestion that her e-mail address is available if the fee is paid.

I did opt-out of sharing the information.  I know it can be found elsewhere, but there was something a bit unnerving about seeing a picture of our house along with the information all in one place.  And as Tom suggested, if a guest from the hotel decided to try to find me for some reason...

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