[This is a guest post written by a friend of mine who values their privacy and prefers not to be named.]
Over the past year Open-source intelligence (OSINT) has become fascinating to me. Ever since I can remember I’ve always completed a Google search to look for any information related to my name or e-mail address. Yes, you could say I’m paranoid but it’s important to know what information is out there regarding yourself. I was naïve to believe I was finding all the information out on the internet. In reality, I was only scraping the surface.
Micah informed me of an incredible webpage titled “Thwart my OSINT Efforts while Binging TV!” (https://tisiphone.net/2017/01/25/thwart-my-osint-efforts-while-binging-tv/) by Lesley Carhart. This website provides a step-by-step guide to remove your information off the internet. The information on these websites vary from phone numbers, past addresses, family members and the list goes on and on. I started working on removing my own data a few months ago and feel like I have a good handle on it now. It was tiresome to complete but I was happy with the results.
I showed Lesley’s website to a few friends outside of the InfoSec community and they were amazed how much information that they considered private was easily accessible through these sites. To make things easier for my friends, I decided to create a spreadsheet to simplify things. The sheet is very similar to Lesley Carhart’s website but provides a little more detail. You can find the sheet at https://the.osint.ninja/optoutdoc or (for those that don’t like bit.ly URLs) https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UY9U2CJ8Rnz0CBrNu2iGV3yoG0nLR8mLINcnz44XESI/edit#gid=1864750866.
We have to do our best to create our own privacy because no one else will.
I wanted to share this to community but decided to stay anonymous. If anyone has any suggestions for the sheet please leave a comment here in the blog or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update or fix anything wrong with it.