Recently, I got a call on my cell phone from my long-lost friend from high school. While I was delighted to hear from this person, I was a bit disconcerted that she found my number so easily: it was right there on an internet people search and phone directory – along with my marital status, the number of children I had, and a record of my Auntie’s death two months ago. Since I value my privacy and take precautions to keep my personal information private, I was shocked that online phone directories knew so much about me. How did they find this information? More importantly, how could I get my name off the internet?
I quickly came to realize that deleting yourself from cyberspace is no easy task. You might as well say it is impossible because you’d have to spend a lot of money and time before you were deleted from phone directories and people searches all across the web.
Here is how I started: I did a search for myself at the leading people search websites as well as reverse cell phone lookups and phone directories. Yes, I had to pay money to see what dirt they had on me. Some had more information than others – including facts like where I’d gone on vacation last summer. Some of the people search websites had outright wrong information (which can be construed as a good or a bad thing from a privacy standpoint). I sent emails to each of the people search websites and reverse cell directories asking them to remove my name from the searches. Most were very accommodating and got my info down within a week. But did I really want to spend the rest of my life trying to get my name out of online directories?
Even though my attempt to get my name out directories was unsuccessful in the long-term scheme of things, it did give me insight to how these people search engines work and thus how you can avoid getting on them in the first place. These people searches and the reverse cell phone search websites buy information lists from marketing and credit reporting companies. If you have ever filled out a form for a free giveaway in a store, taken an online survey, or applied for credit, then your personal information can end up in a people search directory. The most advanced people search engines now cross reference your data with social networking profiles so they can get a very complete picture of you.
The days of sniffing your husband’s collar for perfume are over! In today’s world where information flows freely, it is easy to find out exactly what someone has been up to – including if he or she has been cheating! There are numerous applications and reverse cell phone directories which can help you uncover the details.
Monitoring Cell Phone Use
People like to think that their cell phone use is completely private. For the most part, cell phones enjoy a sense of privacy that we don’t get with our landlines. You can take your cell phone anywhere to have a discussion and delete all records of the call. If you really want anonymity, then you can just buy a prepaid disposable cell phone. To date, there is no national cell phone directory where you have to worry about your number being disclosed.
Cells phones are not impervious to invasions of privacy though. There are special applications which have been designed just to discreetly monitor all activity on a cell phone. Most of these were designed for monitoring kids’ or employee cell phone use, but it goes without saying that a lot of suspicious spouses have also used these applications. All you have to do is upload them to your spouse’s phone when he/she is not around. The app will send all cell activity – messages, call logs, pictures and videos taken, emails – to a website where you can log on and get access.
Find Out Who the Mistress/Mister Is!
These cell phone monitoring apps can be very useful but there are limits. They will not tell you with whom your spouse is communicating – just phone numbers. Let’s say that you notice your husband has had a lot of late-night, 1-minute phone calls with an unknown number. You can’t be 100% sure that he is cheating since it may be business related or may even be a relative calling. A reverse cell phone directory can sort this out for you.
Just type the number into the reverse phone lookup and you will get the name and address of the person’s whose number it is. Keep in mind that the basic free reverse phone lookup services don’t give you cell numbers and their results are usually outdated. If you want accuracy, then you will have to pay for a subscription to a reverse cell directory. These provide much more information, and some even give people search info too. You may be able to find out not only the name and address of the person your spouse is cheating with, but also work history, marital history, and other clues.
Invasion of Privacy or Much-Needed Service?
There is a lot of controversy surrounding these cell phone monitoring apps and reverse phone directories: are they invasions of privacy or much-needed services? Be cautious before putting one of these apps on your spouse’s phone because, if he/she finds out, you could harm your relationship. But, if your spouse is cheating, the information you get from the app and reverse phone directory can help you get out of a bad marriage and get what you are entitled to in court.