Try These Criminal Tricks to Stalk Yourself: It’s Seriously Creepy

A new report out from security company ALLOW shows all the tricks that identity thieves use to stalk their victims. None of it’s particularly sophisticated, but holy hell is it creepy.

The biggest surprise for me was the amount of info available on 192.com — for free. Given just a name and approximate location (so, for example, Chris Mills, London), it’ll give you a whole shitload of information — full name, age, address, phone number, which are all run of the mill, but also creepy stuff like how much you paid for your house, how long you’ve been living there, all the other occupants, everything, even your court records! Yes, I know this is all publicly held information, but still — I’m pretty good at ticking the “don’t include me on the electoral register” boxes, and am ex-directory; but yet there’s quite a lot of info you can pull up with just a name and a postcode. Go try it for yourself, then come back and let us know if you’re perfectly happy with all the data that’s out there for the whole wide world to see.

According to an ex-con found by ALLOW, the tactic they use is to use 192 data, combined with Facebook and LinkedIn, to build a convincing profile of their victim. Then, they either use this info to hack emails etc (by using your security questions) or just opening up new credit cards on your behalf. (In case you missed it, this is pretty much what happened to ex-Gizmodo writer, now Wired, Matt Honan).

So, what can you do to defend yourself? Well, tighten up those security settings, for a start. According to the report, one in four people don’t check Facebook privacy settings, and one in five accept friend requests from total strangers. It should go without saying, but don’t do this. Ever. Even if she’s pretty and mostly-topless.

As regards 192.com, it’s a bit more complex. For most people, they gather info from two public databases — the telephone directory and the electoral register. You can get yourself removed from both those databases quite easily, but if you want to completely remove yourself from the 192.com database, you’ll need to complete this form and mail/fax (yeah, I know, right?) the form back to them.

All in all, it’s a pretty eye-opening report. In these halcyon Facebook days, we tend to forget about those good ‘ole things like directory enquiries and the electoral register. Yeah, they’re not quite as cool and trendy as Facebook, but boy do they have lots on you. You’ve been warned — so no more coming crying here when your online life gets hacked to bits. [Daily Mail]

Our newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.


Comments

    UK only...
    2 records come up when I search for Amelia Pond, but only with initial A, so it might not be her :D

    Clearly tagged as an Australian story, yet 192.com is a UK site? :/

      It does list it as an imported UK story. In factamundo, it in turn has been hacked from the Daily 'fail' Mail newspaper.

      huzzah

    sorry replied to no-one ... my bad - delete post ! *siren

    Last edited 19/11/12 4:08 pm

    Every now an then i hit up google and try to find as much info out about myself, im confident i have it fairly tight, then one day i decide to search on my family members and find my home address and home telephone in several places for the world to see, sigh

    " but if you want to completely remove yourself from the 192.com database, you’ll need to complete this form and mail/fax (yeah, I know, right?) the form back to them. "

    Nope.
    I don't exist as far as they are concerned. :)

    So relieved I'm not on there. Was worried UK tax office might find my multiple properties and businesses as I'm trying to avoid paying taxes. Not being on voting roll has definitely got benefits.

    Pointless for Australians.

    As stated previously, 192.com is for UK only and to get any of that information, you have to buy credits. Not exactly free as the article states. Also, as if everyone didn't know, you can find out quite a lot just by searching Google, Linkedin and Facebook.

      Nope. Not on any of them either. :)

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