Saturday, March 22, 2008

Safety Warning!

Make sure you tell your kids not to give strangers your home number! I got this message in a forward. I rarely read them, but for some reason this one caught my eye. I tested it to see if it's real and it is!

UPDATE: This forward says this is a new feature by Google. I didn't catch that. This is not a new feature. I just think it's a good reminder for all us to tell our kids not to give out our home numbers to strangers.

Google has implemented a new feature which enables you to type a telephone number into the search bar and hit enter and you will be given the person's name and address. If you then hit Map, you will get a map to the person's house. Everyone should be aware of this! It's a nationwide reverse telephone book.

If a child gives out his/her phone number, someone can now look it up to find out where he/she lives. The safety issues are obvious, and could be alarming.

In order to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to: google, Type your phone number in the search bar (i.e. 555-555-1212) and hit enter. If you want to BLOCK Google from divulging your private information, simply click on your telephone number and then click on the Removal Form. Removal takes 48-hours.

Check your own number and although this may not apply to you if you have an unlisted number or cell phone as primary contact, but you may know someone who needs to know this.

My number is unlisted for obvious reasons so I am in the clear, but I tested some friends numbers and sure enough, their address and a map to their house showed up.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Anonymous said...

Ummm... NOT a "new" feature, mom. This has been out for at least a couple YEARS on Google. And before that, there was something called a telephone book that *gasp* did the same thing. Also, MapQuest has nothing to do with it. For quite some time now Google has been using their own maps for all their mapping functions...even if MapQuest's are superiorm. So... The hysteria is unwarranted and the common sense remedy is to 1. Teach your kids to NOT talk to strangers, let alone give them personal info!, and 2. Call your phone service provider(s) to have your number unlisted!

Oh, and it certainly can't hirt to contact Google, but know that that will only prevent GOOGLE from listing you. Any other online info provider will still have access t your info if it is NOT UNLISTED!! said...

Good Point anonymous. This is not a new feature from goolge. However, I don't think most parents think about the feature when it comes to kids. I thought it was a good reminder for all us. Thanks for the info! I don't know that there's any hysteria involved here.

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