Blown To Bits

What the Web Knows About You

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 by Harry Lewis

That’s the title of a terrific piece from ComputerWorld documenting what the journalist found out about himself on the Web and how he found it.¬†Here’s the list:

TITLE: National Correspondent
COMPANY: Computerworld

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Current property addresses
  • Personal phone numbers
  • Business phone numbers
  • Previous addresses and phone numbers dating back to 1975 (except for cell phone numbers)
  • Real estate property deed descriptions and addresses
  • Property tax record from 2004
  • Assessed value of home from 1997
  • Identifying photographs
  • Digital image of signature
  • Mortgage documents (current and previous) and a legal agreement
  • Computerworld affiliation, stories and blog posts
  • Employment history
  • Resume with educational background going back to high school
  • Sex offender status (negative)
  • Affiliations with several nonprofits
  • Editorial award
  • Spouse’s name, age and Social Security number
  • Names of friends and coworkers
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers and first six digits of Social Security numbers for neighbors past and present
  • Parents’ names, address, phone and first five digits of Social Security number
A crucial piece of the search was to find the Social Security Number. Turns out the state of New Hampshire (like many other states) has undertaken to scan in mortgage documents, which have technically been public all along, and make them accessible via the Web. These documents include SSNs. Good grief! There are many handy tools mentioned in this article to speed your snooping. And some tips about how scammers can get more.

2 Responses to “What the Web Knows About You”

  1. Blown to bits at Says:

    […] same time, Google already has a pretty good picture of you. It’s a trade-off we face (see:¬†What the Web Knows About You). Can we live without search engines? Probably not. Social media sites are not that different in […]

  2. Obama celebrates spending binge with cocktails and wagyu steak — But As For Me Says:

    […] Blown to Bits ¬ª Blog Archive ¬ª What the Web Knows About You […]