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Internet Family Fun

Getting Unlisted In The Information Age

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Internet Safety

How easily can you be found? Do you realize that if you have a listed telephone number, chances are, anyone can get directions to your home, with just a few keystrokes? Try using a Internet telephone and address finder, like InfoSpace or Switchboard to see if you are listed. If you are concerned with identity theft, your personal safety, and not getting junk mail, you will want to take action. Most likely you will not be able to completely unlist yourself in the information age, but you can remove yourself from address finders and make sure that your name will not find it's way back to these directories.

The first place to start is to have your telephone number unlisted. There is an additional charge to have this done, but in my opinion, it is an important step, in order to protect your privacy. When you do this, make sure that the telephone company realizes that you want your name, address, and phone number unpublished and unlisted. Unfortunately, some telephone companies will have your phone number unlisted in their print directories then have it published in electronic directories.

To get unlisted in electronic directories, when you already had a published or listed telephone number can take up to six months. In order to remove it from address and telephone finders, you will need to manually request that your listing is removed. First you will need to verify that you are listed with each site, then if you are, fill out the remove form.

There are also many places that you should remove yourself from their listings. For instance, Experian, a credit reporting agency, sells information to Yahoo! to be published on their people search. To remove your name from Experian's listings, you must call 1-800-407-1088. Also, some state's Department Of Motor Vehicles will sell your information to other companies, so be sure to look for a little box on your next car registration, that says I do not want my name sold. Even when you have a baby, this is public information, so the formula companies can find out easily. If you remove your name as much as possible, though, then at least you lessen the chance of being contacted. For more places to write or call to make sure your name and address isn't being sold, click here.

Before giving Websites personal information, make sure they have a privacy policy. To be sure that they follow their own privacy policy, they should be registered with Truste. Any good Website will spell out to you what they do with the information they gather. They should guarantee you that will not give out any information that we have about you (like your membership data) unless you authorize it. When you fill out other membership information for other sites, do they guarantee they won't sell the data? Check their privacy statements to make sure.

Taking these steps to prevent someone from contacting you may very well be worth the time, especially if you aren't careful about using your last name on the Internet. If you are giving out your last name with your email address, you can get directions how to change it (In Outlook Express - Tools, Accounts, Mail Tab, Properties, change the User Name). If you have ever sent an email and unintentionally insulted someone by it being forwarded elsewhere, at least now you will know that they can't show up on your doorstep. In the Information Age you probably can't get completely unlisted, but there are ways to lessen the number of your listings.

More Topics About Your Privacy

Identity Theft Kids and Blogs MySpace Online Shopping Safety
Phishing Scams Internet Advertising User Agreements Common Email Scams
How to Determine if it is a Secure Server All About Spam Find Out Who Owns a Website Secure Passwords
How to Secure Your Wireless Access Point Protect Yourself from Spyware Auto Complete With Internet Explorer Home Computer Security
Family Webpage Safety Reminders Is Your Family Listed? Remove Me From Your List Getting Unlisted In The Information Age
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