Originally posted by Scott:
Until someone could guarantee me that identity theft wouldn't occur, I wouldn't ever use my full name on any public internet site. In a world where identity theft occurs more and more each day, with more and more thefts occuring from the internet, I'd be careful about it.
Short of digging a hole and living in it, there is nothing you can do that can save you from identity theft. Nothing.
If you use your credit card for a transaction, the details are most likely stored on a database. How safe is that database when some low level IT geek gets his pink slip and gets pissed, too?
Where do you think your credit information is stored for your utility company? Phone company? Mortgage company or apartment rental office? Any of that information can be bundled up and sold to the highest bidder by someone who makes $10 an hour and has an ax to grind.
Having my name spread on the Internet far and wide is the least of my worries.
I'm on a cable modem and I get, on average, about 15 alerts from my firewall each day where some program or someone is trying to get into my computer. If people are actively trying to get in and figure out who I am, why would I want to give them an advantage. Keep in mind, this site maps IP addresses. Put that IP address and a name and you're starting to have enough information to be able to head down a path. You would then know an identity and a ISP. A little tracking and you've got the area or region, and within 10 minutes, I've got some information on you.
First, if you're on a cable modem, poke out the extra $100 for a Microsoft Router/Access Point and use that as your firewall. If you've acquired that weird anti-Microsoft disease, there's Linksys. Anyone who'd directly connect to a cable modem a computer running Windows or Linux (set up by a non-Linux administrator level person) is nuts. NVTS, nuts.
As to the rest of it, I'm not sure what you think you're hiding from, but you're not going to get it done. The Internet is not a closed, private system. It's like an open river and anything flowing in the water can be viewed by someone with the will and knowledge how.
Besides, why the paranoia? If you're that concerned about your privacy, you shouldn't be using the Internet at all. If you think your ISP isn't cataloging your requests, you'd better think again.
It gets even more interesting (disturbing) if you are an AOL subscriber.
I know, it's paranoia at it's best, but it pays to be paranoid when dealing with your identity, in my opinion.
I've had my identity stolen and it didn't have anything to do with using my name for years and years on the Internet. No doubt it's a PITA when it happens, but there's not much you can do short of calling up each of the credit reporting agencies and putting fraud alerts on each of them. (Not a bad idea anyway.)
But, if paranoia makes you feel better, don't let me stand in your way.