The internet privacy website previously known as Reputation/Defender changed its name to Reputation.com in early 2010. They also made product changes and now have several different products to sell to potential customers.
I had two different pop-ups come up on my screen while I was visiting Reputation.com:
1) an offer for a free search to find out what the internet knows about me – I would need to enter my first and last name and my email address (I declined);
2) an offer to take part in a live chat to learn more about their products (I declined). This second pop-up came up a couple of times while I was reading all of the pages of their website.
I’m confident that Reputation.com would like to have me become a subscriber to one of their services.
This company offers a number of different fee-based subscription services. Their main one is MyPrivacy, which is described as protecting your personal information from being visible on the web. You can also protect your family for a larger fee.
To learn more about MyPrivacy, see: My Privacy FAQ.
MyPrivacy works with only specific people-search websites (information from the Reputation.com website):
“MyPrivacy Makes Your Personal Information Disappear
MyPrivacy works by blocking the release of your private information from specific people-search websites. MyPrivacy continually monitors the Internet and blocks the release of your private data as long as you are a subscriber. MyPrivacy currently works with people-search websites like: Spokeo, People-Finders, PeopleSearch, and several others. While we are constantly working to improve MyPrivacy, it does not currently work with Intellius.”
For some definitions of terms, see the Reputation.com glossary.
Regarding cookies placed on your computer by ad tracking companies (from the Reputation.com FAQ page):
Advertising networks track you to provide advertising that they believe aligns with your interests. Research and analytics companies may use tracking for research about overall user behavior or to estimate how many people are using certain websites or viewing certain content. Content delivery firms may use tracking to recommend content to you based on what you’ve watched and how you’ve rated it.
“How long will my ad tracking opt out settings remain?
Your opt out settings are stored in browser cookies. If you clear your cookies on your browser, you will need to re-run the opt out tool. If you use multiple computers or multiple browsers, you should run the opt out tool on each computer or browser.”
Is a service plan offered by Reputation.com right for you?
If you are considering subscribing to a plan offered by Reputation.com, be sure to click on every page of their website and read (and re-read) all of the information that you can find. In particular, carefully read their FAQ page before participating in a live chat with a representative. You need to know what to ask, how to discern what you are being told, and be knowledgeable enough to avoid any possible pressure to get you to buy into a service unless you are certain that it is something that you want.
One free protection concerning people-search websites that any internet user can take is to clear your browsing history and cookies on a regular basis by using the tools feature of your browser. This won’t solve all of the problems, but may at least offer some protection.
There is big money being made from the buying and selling of personal information about individuals. Some companies collect and then sell your personal information – other companies make money by selling their services to block access to your personal information that is being sold by other companies.
It is just the individual who is caught in the middle of this personal information circus that doesn’t seem to make any money from the whole aggravating situation.
With over 200 companies buying and selling your personal information, maybe the best thing of all for you to do is not stress over it as this problem is not going to go away anytime soon.
Spokeo: a Search Engine with Personal Records on Over 300 Million People!
PublicRecordsNow: a Search Engine with Over 2 Billion Records Available
Personal opinion of the writer