Monday, November 5, 2007

Google delivers TMI

Google is outstanding service, in my opinion - but one feature is truly too much info (TMI) at best, and dangerous for kids at worst. By inputting a phone number into Google Search bar, can get both address and exact directions/map to the home/location. So anyone your kids give phone number to (or it's overheard) can get name connected to that phone number, street address, and map/directions . You may find other info connected to name/phone number on display as well. I removed my home phone/map weeks ago, but colleague mentioned earlier today should share in event others not aware of it.

In order to find whether your phone number is mapped, go to Google.
Type your phone number with area code in search bar and hit Search (or Return). If you see your name/address/phone, click Map hyperlink. To remove (block) your phone number on Google, click on the "Phonebook results for ... " link and you'll see link for Removal page. Complete online form. Removal takes 48 hours.

Google indicates Removal is permanent so can't change your mind later and get included; and notes many other services have similar displays of phone number/maps. Others may not offer easy removal option as Google fortunately includes.

Great advice I got from an association member applies to Google too: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

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