Spokeo.com: Panic Unnecessary

January 12, 2011

FYI EVERYONE - There's a rumor going 'round about a website called spokeo.com that allegedly has lots of your personal information. Many Facebook postings are warning people to visit the site and ask it to remove your info.

Well, the Spokeo website pulls from a plethora of different data sources on the Internet. So while you can delete your individual listing in the “Privacy form” on Spokeo’s website, just removing your search results won’t stop people from accessing your data by other means. If you don’t like your information showing up to ex-spouses, potential bosses, bill collectors, and the curious masses, don’t provide it to social networking sites. If you do, make sure your privacy settings are tuned to the highest possible level.

And do realize that since we live in the Information Age, some information is public record, like real estate listings, some government information, and your phone number and address unless they are unlisted.

Yes, it’s good to be cautious. Yes, we should be careful about trusting strangers. But please extend that wariness to strange email as well. It is wise to keep an eye on your Internet image. However, we here at the BBB have observed that many scams start with a “panic pitch”—where the scammers hope that by getting you all in a lather, you’ll be too busy freaking out to think logically. Remember that sometimes, by visiting a site, you are actually CONFIRMING your information - which makes it all the more valuable to share with others.