Keeping personal information private helps protect you from frivolous lawsuits, identify theft, and unwanted sales calls. It could even derail a stalker or someone else looking to do you physical harm. How are you should go to protect your privacy is a personal decision. But I believe this tip make sense for just about everyone.
While most people are careful with their Social Security numbers, many of us give out birth dates without a second thought. If someone wants to track you down, a private investigator, a con man, an ex-lover, you have just made it much easier for him/her.
Most people are listed in thousands of databases compiled from medical records, divisions of motor vehicles, credit agencies, employment records, court records, Internet companies, etc. Not all of these records are secure.
If it is just your name in a database, it doesn’t mean much, there are probably many people who share your name. But combine that name with a date of birth, and the pool shrinks by more than 99%, enough for any competent private investigator to find you.
Safer: Don’t provide your date of birth. When you cannot avoid it, consider making some minor alteration to the date that can be called an innocent error if it is picked up later.
Example: Suppose your birth date is December 4, written 12/4. In most countries other than US, Canada, and some parts of Europe, this is written as 4 December or 4/12.
Obviously, if your date of birth is after the 12th, this won’t work. Then you might mistakenly enter the month and date of a family member. But be honest on government forms, loan applications or anywhere else that it is likely to be checked.
The personal information that is already in database is there for good. The only solution is to move, get a new phone number, and never again allow your true name to be coupled with your true address, thus leaving only the old persona information in the databases.