Background-Checking: Facebook, Google Earth, and Twitter

In these days of social networking, website technology, surveillance cameras and databases, maybe it’s time to take a few moments to think about just how much information we’re issuing about ourselves, that others may have access to. It’s easy to sit with Twitter and Facebook and feel secure among friends, but we need to start thinking about just what we say and do and the possible consequences for the future.

An intriguing article on The Republic by Patrick May, looks into the huge rise in amateur sleuthing using online tools, and you may find yourselves putting more thought into exactly what you’re typing in future. For example it talks of people meeting for the first time in a bar maybe and the woman making a quick trip to the bathroom. Within minutes she has managed to find out plenty of information about her prospective date, from the house where he lives on Google Earth, to more personal details on Twitter and Facebook.

It points out that an increasing number of people are using an ever-growing amount of tools for amateur sleuthing and in a survey conducted by Retrevo, 36% of respondents said that they had checked e’mails and phone histories of their spouse or partner, with younger people being the most likely to do so.

Even private detectives have noticed the upsurge in people contacting them after some initial online sleuthing by themselves, merely wanting those suspicions confirmed. It seems as though these days everybody is snooping on everybody else so remember, be careful what you put out there in the first place, as once it’s there you can’t take it back.

For full article go to Have you ever posted information online and regretted it? We’d be interested in hearing your experiences of this.