Search engine raising concerns, personal information accessible to strangers

Photo Credits: True People Search

Hattiesburg, Miss. (WHLT) — As technology continues to increase it can be a useful tool for those using it, but a website publicly releasing private information leaves some Hattiesburg residents concerned.

“I had no idea this website existed,” said Tyra Williamor.

Once we introduced her to the truepeoplesearch.com, she typed in her name and quickly realized her personal information is not private.

“Now I worry about my identity being stolen because they can access how old I am, my full name, where I live, my previous address,” she expressed with disbelief. “Also anyone they can come in contact with that is my friends or family.”

But the University of Southern Mississippi Technology Department told us websites like these are common.

“Some of it can be true, some of it can be somebody else’s information. It’s just computers going out and scrapping information off of different websites or emails,” said David Sliman, USM’s Chief Information Officer.

And on this particular website, you can request to remove your information by clicking the privacy button in the far right corner and completing a security check-point.

“It’s probably worth your wild to do it, but then again it’s like responding back to a span email,” said Sliman. “Then they know they have a valid address, now they know they have a valid person.”

According to truepeoplesearch.com, your records should be removed “within a couple hours,” Sliman tells us there is no guarantee that your information will not resurface on the website.

“I assume that this is stuff we need to be more alert on,” said Williamor. “By paying better attention since companies obviously have all of our information and can access everything and here at our fingers tips too. It’s just really mind boggling that this is even out there.

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