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creepy websites that might have your exact address listed

 
master steward
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Today I discovered at least two websites that had my full name, age, street+city, and/or complete address listed, and they showed up on google results. Not cool. So I just removed myself from them.

Here's some websites you might want to see if you're listed on, and maybe remove yourself from:

https://www.neighborwho.com

https://voterrecords.com

 
Nicole Alderman
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And another one, which lists all previous--exact--addresses you've lived at and for how long: https://clustrmaps.com
 
steward
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Did you pay the fee's to access the information and how did you go about removing yourself from them?
 
Nicole Alderman
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The neighborwho and voterrecords.com didn't require any money to remove yourself from them. They did, however, need an email address to verify your request. I'm not sure WHEN they actually go about removing you after you request them to, because I'm still seeing myself on there.

I'm working on the clustrmaps one now.
 
Nicole Alderman
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James Freyr wrote:Did you pay the fee's to access the information and how did you go about removing yourself from them?



I didn't have to pay anything. Here's where I went to remove myself from the sites:

Voterrecords: https://voterrecords.com/faq

Neighborwho: https://wiki.onerep.com/post/neighborwho.com

Clustrmaps: https://clustrmaps.com/bl/opt-out
 
pollinator
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I put my name in, then an email address, and then it asked me to pay on NeighborWho.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Trace Oswald wrote:I put my name in, then an email address, and then it asked me to pay on NeighborWho.



Weird! Did you try this direct link https://www.neighborwho.com/f/optout/search
 
Trace Oswald
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:I put my name in, then an email address, and then it asked me to pay on NeighborWho.



Weird! Did you try this direct link https://www.neighborwho.com/f/optout/search



It looks like that link works, thank you.
 
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nothing is private anymore. I went to sign up for a web site and somehow they knew exactly where I was without me telling them.
I'm not sure how it all works but it does
 
Nicole Alderman
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Maybe they could see your IP address? IP addresses usually aren't that accurate, especially if someone has satelite internet. But, sometimes they are. I think there's programs you can install on your computer that mask the IP, but I've not really looked into it too hard.

It could also be you'd put your city on facebook, and were logged into facebook while browsing the web. There's a bunch of privacy settings you can fiddle with on facebook that make it harder for other websites to gain access to what facebook knows. I think, unless you turn it off, you're automatically logged into various websites via facebook. Which is probably convenient for a lot of people, but not something I really want!
 
pollinator
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There is a "official" website here that is the equivalent of google maps and the phone book rolled into one. it has my name, address (of course) phone numbers(s) business ID number and is searchable on any of the above or by clicking on the map. It also shows the land boundries and is connected to the site that will tell you how many rooms my house has how many toilets and what the heating is among other things. Nearly everyone in the country is on it. That's just how it is done here. When you move and re-register (legally required) it is automatically updated. We have only had one issue with it and that was someone adding themselves to our address and then selling fake items on the free adds.
Facebook knows little about me but Krak knows it all.
 
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The voter page redirected me to another page where I put in my name and address to get my report so I could unsubscribe (per the faq page) but it didn't actually give me that option and now they have my email address to add to their database. :(
 
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There are many such sites out there. With minimum effort I can get an address, telephone number, and picture of the house lived in. Privacy is a thing of the past.  For whatever reason,  my present location is still not too available.
 
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If you go to Zillow or Realtor.com and type in your address you might be surprised to see the old sales pictures of your house are still posted.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Sonja Draven wrote:The voter page redirected me to another page where I put in my name and address to get my report so I could unsubscribe (per the faq page) but it didn't actually give me that option and now they have my email address to add to their database.



I think some of our email addresses block their stuff. I was able to unsubscribe via a gmail address, but my husband's hotmail email address never got the verification link.
 
John F Dean
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I got curious and looked up my sister in Florida. I deliberately misspelled her name.  I used only her misspelled name and state. I found  her address, phone number, email, income, picture of her house, appraised house value, voter registration, political party, vehicle registration etc. This was without spending added dollars for a special report. The information looked reasonably accurate.  I also found out her son had been in a bad automobile accident and what hospital he had been taken to.
 
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Our house hasn't been on the market for a long time. Fortunately, when googlemaps did our neighborhood, the trees/curved driveway obscured almost all of the street view of our house. You can tell the house is brown and 2 story and we had cars in the driveway, but that's about it. The ariel view is about the same, the house is obscured by trees.

I'm glad!
 
pollinator
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Not much you can do really. The info is out there. Some states let you look up a persons entire court history (all lawsuits, tickets, arrests, etc.) Most counties have a GIS website where can easily find where anyone lives. And what really freaks me out: if your house has ever been listed and photos taken of the interior, those stay on the real estate websites. Anyone can know what the inside of your house looks like (likely empty, but still!)  
 
pollinator
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I found it interesting as well regarding the location of relatives who I know are too old to be regular internet users, if at all.  I brought boxes a few days ago to the US post office for shipping and the person behind the counter place each box, one at a time, on the weigh scale.  I saw her tap a keyboard briefly, then asked me if the address on the screen was the correct address for the shipping label.  Mind you, she hadn't typed in the address.  I inquired about this and she noted that all she needs is the zip code and a few numbers or letters of the address or recipient.....the computer knows the rest of the address and the customer simply needs to verify that it was correct. .......Hmmmmmm
 
Skandi Rogers
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John Weiland wrote:.  I inquired about this and she noted that all she needs is the zip code and a few numbers or letters of the address or recipient.....the computer knows the rest of the address and the customer simply needs to verify that it was correct. .......Hmmmmmm



Nothing strange there that's how a code works. In the UK you only need the house number/name and the code, here you need the road name and number and then the code. Also in the sorting offices most address labels are scanned by computer real people only look at them if the computer can't read the writing.
 
Sonja Draven
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Sonja Draven wrote:The voter page redirected me to another page where I put in my name and address to get my report so I could unsubscribe (per the faq page) but it didn't actually give me that option and now they have my email address to add to their database. :(



It took several hours but I did receive cancellation emails in my spam folder and submitted my requests. Hoping it's effective.  
 
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If you are REALLY serious about privacy, it takes an effort. Having your "home" address on a DL license and a Post Office mailing address  for everything else (bills, car registry, credit, etc., etc.) is the best way to go.  Thus when you move around, you don't have to change anything except your location. Bills, important papers and whatnot keep coming to the same P.O. Box (I've had it this way for years and I'm not even sure if you can still go that route--but I read books saying that you can.) Of course, it's best if the "home" address is somewhere that you don't actually live. But that, too, takes an effort (and you should be VERY law abiding in order to pull it off). And online privacy... Well, a VPN helps--I use the freebee from Proton (https://protonvpn.com/) and if you are really serious, use the Tor browser (https://www.torproject.org/) instead of "regular" browsers . I only use Tor for deep-dives into research (because the dark web is a crazy place), but it does thoroughly mask your location and can be used for routine web searching if you like. Privacy is as much a science as it is an art.
 
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One of the first sites doing this was mylife.com. Mylife creates what amounts to a dossier from any info that can be gleaned from public records and online sources such as social media. Then, they allow any member to write whatever they like about you and post it to the page about you. The only way to get control of it is to pay them a monthly membership fee. These sites are essentially an extortion/blackmail scheme. I actually reported Mylife to the FBI, but I don't think anything came of it.

For those wondering how these and other websites seem to know your location, are you using a smart phone or tablet to access the Internet? Many websites and apps can access your device's GPS capabilities, allowing them to acquire your realtime location. A few can access the device's accelerometers and compass, letting them record when you are moving and in what direction.
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Today I discovered at least two websites that had my full name, age, street+city, and/or complete address listed, and they showed up on google results. Not cool. So I just removed myself from them.



I personally really don’t agree with online dating but after years of being badgered and some friends gifting me a subscription, I logged on. I really didn’t feel comfortable with it and one day (I’m not sure what motivated me to) I did a google search with just my first name, type of employment and city. This was all basic information that anyone with a subscription to this expensive dating site would be able to know. Within a couple pages I was able to find my full name, family members names/ages, multiple home addresses (including the one I lived at ALONE), and my income history from reporting school districts.

Mind you, I had already permanently disabled and deleted ALL my social media.

It REALLY creeped me out! I had other friends try it to make sure it wasn’t just because of my previous search history. It wasn’t. I permanently removed myself from the site.

As much as I enjoy my iPhone and other technology... I sure wish the whole couldn’t find me with a couple of clicks.

Since I’m living out of the country right now in a place that doesn’t really have addresses or mail delivery, it’s not as big of a deal.
 
pollinator
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Once you have been stalked you get VERY paranoid about any site, store, business or organization that wants even the most basic of info; and this was long before smart phones and other tech.

Way back when there were paper phonebooks, in lieu of an unlisted number, I went to middle initial, and you could ask to have your address deleted. Another avenue, pre tech, was those little slips of paper for a "free draw" - just a method to collect saleable contact info. Nowadays it behooves one to never give a "real" address, name or tel/cell number. Turn off and refuse all geolocation crap, delete all identifiable info from social media, including sex, birthday, city, and historial crap (schools attended etc). When certain info, such as name is required, create a variant spelling or use a nickname - you will be shocked how soon you receive phone calls/mail with that variant.

Take the time to rigorously, and diligently review your online/tech footprint and eradicate as much as possible. Max out any and all privacy settings. Return unsolicitated mail with "deceased" written on it; answer your phone as if a business/or in a non English (in North america) response - these are all actions that get you deleted from contact logs that are sold to anyone who wants to purchase them, for legal or illegal purposes.

Most of all, resist the need to share personal information, EVER, unless to the government or emergency sevices. When a store asks for your phone number, email or street address, ask why; if they insist, give fake or shop elsewhere.

Remember, it is a million times harder to REMOVE information, better to never volunteer it in the first place. I am proud to say a Google search for me will show permies posts and such, but no cell, tel, or street address, and I do my work hard to ensure that privacy.
 
Alana Rose
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Once you have been stalked you get VERY paranoid about any site, store, business or organization that wants even the most basic of info; and this was long before smart phones and other tech.



Yes, I found after getting out of a psychologically abusive relationship a few years ago that I didn’t want him to know anything about me, my life, or my whereabouts EVER again. Since I’ve helped many women and their children escape violent and dangerous relationships, I never wanted any kind of retaliation from them being able to find me either.

Thanks so much Lorinne for all this great info! I don’t even know where to begin but I will.
 
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bruce Fine wrote:... somehow they knew exactly where I was without me telling them.
I'm not sure how it all works but it does


If you're using a browser (such as Chrome) that references a user profile , it may be that you've provided that information and allowed it to be shared with sites deemed safe.
 
pollinator
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Today I discovered at least two websites that had my full name, age, street+city, and/or complete address listed, and they showed up on google results. Not cool. So I just removed myself from them.
Here's some websites you might want to see if you're listed on, and maybe remove yourself from:
https://www.neighborwho.com
https://voterrecords.com



Indeed: I was on neighborwho yet I know I have never given them my name/address. They said they could get details of the deed, previous owners etc. I can say with certainty that they got my info in Aug. 2005 because they had my previously married name and that is the year we acquired this property but before we were married. Worse, they had the "street view" of my house. It is indeed creepy. There does not seem to be a way to get removed. [I might have to create an account in order to go deeper. I got all this information without creating an account and login in!] Of course, if you have to create an account to get removed, you will be giving them with yet more data, and you will still be in their records, even if they can 'mask you'.
I suspect that this is all done through "3rd party" accounts: When you create an account with a site, this information is usually secure. But if that entity works with 3rd parties, then this 3rd party can do pretty much what they want with the information: The original entity will swear to High Heavens they do not sell your information, and they may not be lying, but they have 'arrangements' with 3rd parties, like "Give me the info you have, I'll give you the info I have. Technically, they do not lie because they did not *sell* your information for a profit. I'm scared to look at voter records!
They have this delightful piece of reading if you want to agree to the terms and conditions. It will make you feel quite helpless, like you are in a maze and could get fined $250 if you do a wrong move. Of course, I back out.
https://voterrecords.com/terms#a
 
David Wieland
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:
Indeed: I was on neighborwho yet I know I have never given them my name/address. They said they could get details of the deed, previous owners etc. I can say with certainty that they got my info in Aug. 2005 because they had my previously married name and that is the year we acquired this property but before we were married. Worse, they had the "street view" of my house. It is indeed creepy.


Maybe it's different where you live, but property ownership records are usually public. The phenomenon being described here is enabled by the large databases that now exist and publicly accessible records. I won't say there's never anything nefarious involved, but if there is, it would likely be directed at a "high-value" target, not us in the hoi polloi. Data can be computer-matched on any available characteristic or identifier, and the Google street view is simply matching on address. It can feel creepy, as in "Google knows everything", but it's really data plus computer algorithms applied on a large scale.

I do think there's a strong case for constraining Google in some ways, but not based on matching public data.
 
David Wieland
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:...the idea that anyone can extract that much information from Public Records [and yes, the law is the same in Wisconsin] is at least disconcerting.
...
In Europe, there is a strong movement to rein in Google, Amazon , Microsoft and  other mega tech entities because of such concerns. It is just starting to appear here. I think there are more folks than just us who want to cut Mega corporations down to size.


I'm sure you've learned as I have in my 75 years that there are pros and cons for pretty much everything. The technology that enables the spooky assembly of information is basically the same as what, for example, led me to Permies. That doesn't mean we shouldn't find some ways to sheathe that double-edged sword sometimes.

The high-value targets have always been subject to nefarious action; computer technology has just provided new tools.
 
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I went to voterreords and another site, TruthFinder showed all my info. I was NOT able to opt out of either!
 
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I was surprised to not find Fast People Search http://www.fastpeoplesearch.com listed by anyone.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Denice Moffat wrote:I went to voterreords and another site, TruthFinder showed all my info. I was NOT able to opt out of either!



Yep, as useful as they can be sometimes, there is a big problem with "Public Records". One of the difficulties in addressing it is that Lawyers are not necessarily savvy in handling databases, nor do they understand that for every invention, there is a nefarious way to use it. The effect is that we are more and more "observed" and cannot free ourselves from these intrusions.
The Law always lags in attempting to 'regulate out' the nefarious. There are also less "Public Records", usually commercial and private in nature, in which you are asked to click to agree to the 30 pages of legalese before you can participate. Caveat emptor.
 
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Websites use Javascript mainly as their tool to find out all sorts of things about you.
They can tell what device and Operating System you use. I use a HP laptop with Linux.
They can tell what version of OS and what browser you use. I use LMDE4 for my build of Linux and sometimes Firefox, sometimes Opera, sometimes Chromium to browse. They can even tell what version of browser you use.
For an example of what info can be grabbed, gird yer loins and head over to https://webkay.robinlinus.com/ They will show you most of what can be gleaned by the average, run of the mill website. They hawk their browser plug-ins. When it comes to browser plug-ins I say trust them if you personally know the developer. Don't know the developer? How can you trust their plug-ins?
Here's a tool I use on occasion to see some other stuff that websites actually do; https://themarkup.org/blacklight Did you know that the Microsoft .com home site records your keystrokes and your mouse/touchpad/mobile device screen touches? Isn't that something that a virus would do? Microsoft collects this info through its operating system too. That's right, if you use Windows, Microsoft knows every key you hit and every mouse or touchpad action from your PC. You're so very welcome.
You might think they can't track your mouse or touch actions? Head on over to https://clickclickclick.click/ and move around and click or tap around, see what the site tells you!
There are ways to scramble some of this info, but you can't scramble or hide all info. The Tor browser and Linux distribution called Tails comes very close, but they're not for novices.
I use DNS redirection and the hosts file to sidestep and block quite a bit, but again, they only block so much. I also use the Opera browser with its VNC enabled on occasion, such as when I need to contact my bank or any other sensitive site.
 
David Wieland
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Blaine Clark wrote:Websites use Javascript mainly as their tool to find out all sorts of things about you.
...


But you're describing information about your technical environment, not things about you personally. I think it's the latter that Nicole and others are concerned about.
 
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Unfortunately counties/states are going more and more online, so for example county assessor info is considered public and searchable by anyone online. These sites are actively searching that info when you do a search on their site.

Browsers give away a lot of info by default. You can use add-ons to hide some info, use a VPN to hide your location, or go deeper with Tor. Phones are even worse, not only do apps ask for access to data they don't need simply to sell it, many out there steal data without asking. For example Tik Tok was recently sued for compiling facial recognition, which is widely used in China for their "social credit score" system. Lots of technology tools are being created in recent years, and they will all quickly be leveraged by bad guys as well as good.

My credit card has all my behavior info based on typical purchases, and when I take a trip to a new place I have to let them know in advance or risk purchases being blocked. And unless I remember every year to submit a request to every card and company to deny access to my purchase data to "affiliates", all that info is sold and resold.

Unless you're willing to pull out some cash to make in-person purchases and avoid online transactions at all costs, use a browser like Tor and a VPN on a secure operating system, pass on the smartphone and purchasing property you will always have some of your info online.
 
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Location: futurity, Colorado
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All my information is at my County assessor office online.  Even pictures of my house and square footage.  So driving by you can easily access who owns the land,  house and pictures of the layout.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
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Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
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Wow, Blaine! I knew very little about that, and yes, it is really creepy. All along, while people have been going to war to "safeguard our Freedoms", who knew that we could be "owned" by something smaller than a breadbox that sits in our office or that we can carry in a pocket! Resolution for this New Year: LEARN MORE on this topic. How did you get this savvy?
 
Mark Brunnr
gardener
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Blaine, I used to use the Opera browser and that VPN was enabled when I signed up for Netflix. I didn’t realize at the time, that Netflix assumed I was in Canada due to the VPN and so they charge me in Canadian dollars, so I get about 20% off the monthly bill ever since!
 
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Steve flies like a tiny ad:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
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