Do You Really Have Any Online Privacy?

The recent Facebook terms of service changes and consequent complaints made me wonder how much privacy really exists if you’re active online.

Starting with just a name, sites like 123People, Pipl and Zabasearch can find a phone number, photos, a street address, age, and other social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace.

With only a street address sites like Zillow, Cyberhomes and Trulia reveal the appraised value, how much the home sold for and various facts about the home (square footage, number of rooms, bathrooms, etc).

It’s not a bad idea to review what you’re making available online, and cut back if it’s too much when viewed in aggregate. It’s also not a bad idea to review the privacy settings at sites you use regularly. For instance, Facebook has privacy settings that some people aren’t even aware of.

With such a wealth of information freely available with a click of the mouse, make sure you’re comfortable with the information you make available online. Small bits of information can be compiled into a surprisingly complete picture. Identity theft is becoming more common and can turn your life into an expensive headache.

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