As with many IT professionals I find myself often the ‘go-to’ person for family and friends when the need for computer related assistance arises. Many a Christmas I have spent patching this or installing that. I also find myself the family email filter being forwarded countless chain letters with the note, “is this real?” or “is it safe to click this?”
I received one such email from my mother-in-law talking about “Google’s phone number search program”. Basically you type a phone number into Google and click search. If your phone number is listed and your community has been hit with the Google Street View drive by, then your name and number is listed at the very top with a link called “map”. Once you click on “map” Google Maps will open and street view may show your home.
This was true for many people I know, including my mother-in-law. There was her house in full living color and her vehicle parked in her drive. I gave her a hard time when I told her this and added that I can see her through the window talking to me on the phone (laughs). She felt this was an invasion of her privacy as did my parents when I showed them.
I did explain to her that she could remove herself from the phone number search quite easily. Simply type your phone number into Google and click search. Once your number shows at the very top of the list, it should say something like “Phonebook results for 555xxxxxx”, click it. Located just below your information there is a link that says “Request to have your name removed from this list”, click that link and follow the instructions.
John "Mike" Wright