Listed Phone Numbers Prompt Safety Concern - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/16/04

Listed Phone Numbers Prompt Safety Concern

With a name, you can look up a number and address or if all you have is a phone number, you can try reverse directory and look up the name and address. But, now the Internet is providing even more information, with one inclusive search.

Watch what happens when you type in a listed phone number at Google.com. You instantly get the person's name and address. And with one, click, you get directions and a map to the address. This may be useful information for some people. But it also concerns some people, like Internet user and mother Kim Owens. "It really bothers me to think just anybody can get online and get a map directly to someone's door. It especially conerns me for parents with teenage children."

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With the popularity of instant messaging and chat rooms, kids and adults alike are talking with people in other cities, states and even countries they otherwise wouldn't have access to. But if you or your child gives out a phone number, that simple phone call could turn into a personal visit. Kim says, "All you need to do is give a name and phone number and someone in Timbuktu can pull right up to your house and get your child when they're getting on the school bus or anything. It's just too much information."

If you agree with Kim, you can opt out of the Google search system. Either get your number unlisted or simply go to the Google site at Google.com . Go to the help section and go to features. Scroll down to the phone book section where you can then opt out of the system. Or you can mail your opt out to:

Google Phone Book Removal
2400 Bayshore Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

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