GREENSBORO, N.C. -- You can find a whole lot of information about yourself just by searching your name on sites like Spokeo or Instant Checkmate. All the places you've lived, your phone numbers, where you work, even possible relatives.
Your search result can also include a map with your house highlighted. This might seem like an invasion of your privacy but all of this information is public record and it's been public record for a while.
The only difference is that now instead of getting in your car, driving to the courthouse, searching through records and paying a fee - all you have to do is go to your computer.
"There is information that is public record. You can't make that unavailable. It's just that technology has made it much easier for parties to get that than it used to be," said Joseph Steinberg, Cyber Security expert.
To get your information off of InstantCheckmate, just go to www.instantcheckmate.com/optout. Then, type in your name, address, email and date of birth and your set. Make sure you do this for every state you've lived in and your married and maiden names.
The problem with all this information online is made worse because of social media. Telling the world you're going on vacation isn't a good idea especially since your address is public record.
"There's no question people are actually a big danger to themselves on social media," said Steinberg.
He added, "It's the combination of data that's out there that creates a dangerous situation."
This is a delicate balance between First Amendment rights and your right to privacy. If you don't like how much of your personal information is public record under the law, contact your lawmaker and share your opinion.
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