A friend in Oklahoma alerted me to the new Google Phone and Map search engine. Another thing to be paranoid about, and this is one we should all take seriously. Maybe you know about this. I didn't.
New Google Feature
The new Google feature lets you type in a telephone number into the search bar, hit enter, and receive not only the name and address attached to the number but also the ability to get a Google Map telling you exactly how to get to the address. It's not enough we have satellites mapping our residences for the entertainment of anyone who wants to Google an address. Now they can get all your private location information in a neat package. Maybe tied with a bow. Just what everyone needed - a nationwide reverse telephone book.
What genius thought this was a good idea? If you've got children and someone can get your phone number, anyone from sex offenders to solicitors to wacked out fans of your writing can find where you live and how to get there. The safety issues are alarming, but I'm particularly concerned about the threat to a child.
I advise all who read this to try your phone number and see what happens. If your home address info shows up, use the removal option. Click your phone number and fill out the form. At least the removal is easy, assuming they take care of it which means you have to check back after 48 hours and see if it's been removed.
Be sure and check your number even if it's supposed to be unlisted because some have found it there too.
Here's the Google URL for removal http://www.google.com/help/pbremoval.html if you want to view it not as a hot link. Also, here's a snail mail address to opt out if you want to be able to send a trackable letter:
Google Phonebook Removal
2400 Bayshore Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
More Invasive Sites
For more info on avoiding invasive websites, visit Search Engine Optimism where there's a lengthy article on the subject complete with other the names and addresses of other directories that do the same.
Privacy and security are going the way of copyright. Do what you can to stem the tide.