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Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

"It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..."

Hermann Hesse


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Warning! - Spokeo.com has your Personal Information!


There's a new site called Spokeo.com
Beware!

This is NOT a hoax! Look yourself up and see!

Spokeo is a new online directory containing all kinds of personal information: Everything from pics you've posted on FB or web, your approximate credit score, home value, income, age, etc. It picks up data from any social network such as Facebook, Linked In, etc. and from websites, blogs, and from sites containing public records. It even has listings for people who've never been on a computer, or had an e-mail address because it also accesses public records.


WHY SPOKEO IS SCARY:

When Spokeo accesses an account, such as a Facebook account, it grabs not only your personal information, but the personal information for ALL of your contacts as well! Spokeo can share this information with anyone, including third party advertisers - so your spam may grow substantially!


HOW TO GET YOUR INFORMATION OFF THIS SITE:

You can remove yourself by first searching for yourself on their site to find the URL of your Spokeo Page, then going to the small, gray "Privacy" button on the bottom of your page to remove yourself.


Note: You can remove yourself, and you can remove others following this same method. However, there is a limit to how many listings you can remove per day. I was able to remove myself and a few friends and relatives who requested that I do so, about six people total, before I got the message indicating I'd have to "try again tomorrow."


Another note: The validity of some data on Spokeo is questionable, but TOO much of it was correct. I definitely don't want my information on this list and suspect that many of you will feel the same!


The emergence of this site could be coincidental with the recent Facebook changes which now allow sites like Spokeo to access your "private" information, even though you've listed it as "friends only" access. In keeping with this, you may want to revisit your Facebook account, delete a lot of your personal information and potentially limit access to just your friends. Based on what I've read about this recently I am seriously considering deleting my Facebook account entirely, as I am not able to guarantee the privacy of my personal information.



2 comments:

Joanna said...

According to Snopes, removing yourself doesn't actually work and may in fact be what Spokeo wants - you're verifying your e-mail address by doing so.

I need orange said...

I did look myself up, and they had more stuff wrong that right. Including stuff that is in the public records, like how long we've been in our house, and my husband's name...................

It would be scarier if more of it was right.

Or maybe not, if people start reading this stuff and believing it's true................