I have friends who work very hard to maintain their privacy. Don’t get me wrong; they have every reason to do so. Being more private with our personal lives is something we could all probably do. Nonetheless, what most of us consider basic privacy is pretty much a myth in the 21st century.
Not convinced? Then let us embark down a path that might open your eyes to things you do not want to know. Strap in and let’s go. It’s for your own good.
You’re All Over the Internet
Your first clue that true privacy is a myth should be the fact that you are all over the internet. Just Google your name. You might be surprised by what comes up. Chances are you will find enough information anyone could use to at least get started on the path of learning everything about you.
If you are willing to pay for a more detailed report, you will discover that anyone else who wants to pay the fee can find out where you live now, where you have lived in the past, who you are related to, and on and on.
An Information Sieve
So, how did things come to this? Organically. The internet is an information sieve. All these years you have been entering personal information on a variety of websites. That information has been bought and sold multiple times over. But it doesn’t stop there. Public records are now largely online as well. The information from those records is also bought and sold.
Take a Look at Your Mail
The internet represents the biggest privacy issue in the modern era. But privacy problems are not exclusive to the online world. If you need proof, go check your mailbox. Chances are you routinely get credit card offers from companies that take the liberty of filling in your name and address. Where they got the information is immaterial. The point is that they know where you live.
Chances are they also know your credit score and history. They might know what kind of car you drive when you bought it, and who holds the loan. Why do you think they keep sending you credit card offers?
You Can’t Even Hide
If all this isn’t enough, there’s one more thing that might push you over the edge: unless you’re willing to go out into the middle of nowhere and literally disappear, you can’t even hide from someone who really wants to find you. Ever heard of skip tracing?
Skip tracing is an investigative tool used by private investigators, collection agencies, etc. Salt Lake City’s Judgment Collectors relies on skip tracing to track down debtors who attempt to avoid payment by hiding assets and leaving town.
The thing is that skip tracers have access to common resources like social media, real estate records, arrest records, and the same reports we talked about earlier. But they also have access to restricted and proprietary databases the average Joe cannot get their hands on. Skip tracers are particularly good at what they do. They are tough to hide from for any length of time.
Do What You Can
Do not take the information in this post as a reason to throw up your hands and stop trying. Absolutely do whatever you can to maintain your privacy. You will definitely be safer that way. Just realize that 100% privacy isn’t attainable. There are ways to find you or get information about you if someone wants to dig deep enough. Protecting your privacy just increases the chances that no one will want to put in the work.