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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Web Stalkers
Chapter 1 -
The Illusion of Anonymity

Sanitizing an Online Profile

Volunteering as little information as possible is one of the best ways to protect privacy.  One of the main ways that people give away information about themselves is filling out user profiles.  Most e-mail accounts, chat rooms and newsgroups allow users and members to complete a rather detailed personal profile.  The idea behind this is to allow members of an online community to get to know each other better.

While the idea seems innocent enough, it flies in the face of all sound security practices.  Internet users cannot afford the luxury of ignorance or apathy.  Awareness is the best defense against invasion of private information.  Volunteering date of birth, place of employment, real name, address or phone number, especially together in one location is like a feast on a silver platter for an identity thief.  It simply should not be done.

A favorite sports team, vacation spot, or preferred type of automobile may sound like harmless pieces of personal trivia, and in most cases that is just what they are, but keep in mind that information is power, and the more someone knows about a person the more vulnerable that person is.  Before revealing anything, one should ask, “Who needs to know?”  In most cases, the answer is “Not you,” so don’t share.

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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