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How Safe ARE you? How Private is your Privacy?

I posted this blog about a year ago while I was a member of a social network. I belonged to numerous forums and groups. And one of my groups did a ‘TEST’ a while back.

The moderator of the group picked 5 ‘volunteers’ from the group. They then visited each of these 5 members profile pages, and from their profile pages alone, and no other information, attempted to locate these individuals.

Yes you read that right. Locate them.

From the harmless information that they share on the internet waves, these 5 people were geographically located within a couple miles, and in some instances, located to their exact physical address.

In each instance, it took a certain number of sleuth-like steps to find them. Some were harder to locate than others, while some were almost scarily-easy’ to find.

I’ll let that sit for just a lil’ longer.

Now at the time, my profile page divulged a lil more information about my personal life than I’d like to admit. Everything from my occupation, where I work, my personal life, etc.

The irony of it all was my wife had urged me to change and/or delete some, if not most, of my information on my page for this very reason at the time.For my safety. For our safety.

The sad cold hard truth is that there are some very evil and some not-so nice individuals out there on the internet. They are out there to wreak havoc and prey on the innocent and naïve.

It’s kinda like the difference between a new cop and an old/seasoned cop. The new cop thinks like he/she has been taught. They search and or discover their evidence by the means they were taught.

The seasoned cop simply thinks like their perpetrator. The cop thinks like the thief. The cop thinks like the stalker. The cop thinks like the murderer. The cop thinks like the person they are trying to catch, or the person that is running from them.

So lets mirror that image.

How do you think those nasty individuals think when they see your profile page? What information do they need? What information can they use? What are you telling them about you? What are you telling them about your life? What are you telling them about your loved ones? What other ‘useless’ information do you share that becomes ‘useful’ to them?

I’ll let that sit for just a lil’ longer.

My wife proved that simplified point to me with the greatest ease. In two easy key strokes, or 2-4 easy steps she (or someone else) could easily locate me and my family. Someone diabolical enough could find out things about my life that, at-the-time, seemed harmless, but now have made me vulnerable to identity theft, burglary, or god forbid be the victim of a physical attack on myself or loved ones. If you wanted to, and were motivated, or determined enough, you could find me. Anyone could find me. Anyone could find my friends. Anyone. Anyone.

I only blog about this because I am not one to be overly-paranoid. I’m not the type of person that looks over my shoulder when I’m out walking alone. I’m not the person that thinks the worse in people whenever I meet someone for the fist time.

I am however protective of my personal privacy. I am protective of my loved ones. I am concerned with my personal security. I am concerned with the safety and security of my identity. I am someone who lives my life striving to always be prepared.

And until now, I thought I was prepared.

Are you?

As always take care of yourselves and yours

Carpe Diem


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