Privacy – it’s not just cookies

It seems that barely a month goes by with out one of the social media platforms making some a change that has people up in arms about their privacy or some big business reporting a data breach.

But that’s not what this blog is about. There’s been plenty written on those topics. I’m going to tell you a tale about another way you can be telling the world more than you thought…

And when I say tale, I mean a real life example.

The other day I missed a call on my phone.

On listening to the voice mail, I quickly realised that the message wasn’t for me. But from that one phone call I now know more about the caller than they realise.

So what do I know and how did I find this out (NB I did all this “research” sat on the sofa on my phone)

All The Details

  1. His home phone number. The number showed up on my phone and he said he was calling from home.
  2. His name. The first name was clear in the message. Couldn’t clearly get the surname from the message but other data helped me find this.
  3. A hobby – he referred to his hobby in the message. 
  4. The person he was leaving the message for shares the same hobby – it’s not a common hobby and he had exciting news for the person about it. 
  5. He has a daughter
  6. He’s either separated or divorced. In the message he said he’d been hanging out with his daughter.
  7. He’s involved in a running a sporting club. His name’s isn’t common and from the phone number I knew where in the country he lives and Google is my friend for this!
  8. His full address and the address of a property he rents out. Again, from the phone number and using Google.
  9. He’s looking to have some sort of “romantic” involvement with the person he was leaving the message for. If you heard the message you’d agree!
  10. His home email address.
  11. His work email, who he works for and his occupation
  12. His father’s name, DOB and some of his family history

I could probably find out more if I tried…but all this from a single phone message. 

Makes you think doesn’t it!

What can we learn from this?

  1. Be very careful when dialling a phone number
  2. Unless you’re one hundred percent certain that you’ve got the right voicemail, maybe keep the message short
  3. Shred paper documents with personal details. You don’t know who might end up rummaging through your bins

If you’ve got to this point and are still wondering about the cookies, take a look at All About Cookies

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A cookie you don’t have to worry about

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