Believe it or not, your personal data is stolen from where you least suspect it. If I asked 100 people if they thought their personal data was out on the web, 95 of them would say, “absolutely not”. They think they are safe because they are not on Facebook, never use instagram, certainly don’t tweet, and very rarely surf for pleasure. Well, sorry to say, there is still a good chance your personal information is out there. Where is it? Where you least suspect it!

Where You Least Suspect It

Have you ever applied for a job online? Job sites are huge targets for information gatherers. Think about it for a minute. The user voluntarily submits all kinds of personal data. Are you on Linkedin? If so, there is a good possibility your current employer is there. If you have your high school and college years posted, you age is easily guessable. Your email would be there for easy harvesting.

Let’s assume you are on the Coca Cola website applying for a job. It’s a secure website so you know it is safe. Is it really safe? I saw a demo where the hackers uploaded a .pdf to the HR department, which unleashed a malware code that allowed hackers to get into the network that same evening and steal all sorts of personal information.

How about Social Media?

Social media has a plethora of private information. You put it out there…on your own. I recently did a family tree search and I learned more about my relatives using social media than I did from talking to them directly! I saw their kids, knew when they were on vacation, knew where they worked, what they looked like 5 years ago, etc. We really care about Facebook’s privacy policy but that is because we need them to protect us from ourselves! Personal data is EVERYWHERE on the internet. It is commonly where you least suspect it.

What to do

This is a decision that you have to make. Lock down your social sites as best you can. Put out there a limited amount of information. Don’t be so free with all your personal whereabouts. If you are really scared, change your name on Facebook and only give that information to a handful of people you want to view it. You have to be smart about where you post your private information.

Even though you think you are safe online because you don’t use it very much, you can’t help but have to go online. Airlines will give you discounts for booking online. There are too many things that require online. The point here is that your data can be harvested from where you least suspect it. Just be aware.