Sep 29 2007
I urge you to read this. Your home address details might be displayed to anybody who wants them. Mine were.
My mother purchased CA Internet Security which provides anti-virus and a suite of internet security products. By her account she is happy with the product.
One of the components she installed was “CA Website Inspector” which is powered by “CallingID Limited“. What this does is provide information about the website owner whenever you hover over a link or visit a site.
When she was visiting this site (Blogpond) she hovered over my name (as in published by “Meg“). To her horror, and mine, my home address was displayed. I don’t hide my identity, but my home address being displayed in absolutely abhorrent to me.
The first thing I did was to call CA in Australia (I am thinking Indian call centre by the accents). Neither sales nor technical support could assist. After 15 minutes of trying to get them to understand the issue, they eventually disclaimed that “CallingId” had anything to do with them so they couldn’t possibly help me.
All I wanted to know at this point was which database they were using that connected this website with my home address. I am really protective of this, and I’m at a complete loss as to how the information got into their database. It was NEVER listed on the “whois” information. I have always used a PO box, or my company address.
By this stage, I had found the CallingID website and found out they actually have a product that you can download, that will provide you with information about any website you visit. I have downloaded the “Link Advisor“, and I’m sure that the product is well intentioned.
You don’t have to be an expert to be safe. CallingID is your bodyguard. It automatically scouts the sites you intend to visit and provides you with all the information you need to make an informed decision – Can I follow the link or should I ignore it because there are risks I don’t want to take.
CallingID Link Advisor uses many different sources to find site owners, to verify that the owner is a real organization and to ;deliver the most accurate information to all users. Running complex verification tests on the CallingID servers, Cross-Searching several international information databases, Advanced Risk Assessment conducted by Link Advisor when the page is loaded and by the CallingID team are all pooled together to give you the most informed and accurate assessment available.
CallingID have a link for webmasters to update their address details. I updated the information and my request was actioned within 24 hours. I am still none the wiser as to where the information was sourced from.
Whilst this service is provided to protect innocent consumers, it’s ironic that the information provided could potentially be used against innocent individuals.
I urge you if you have a blog (on your own domain), or any website for that matter, to manually check the information that is listed for your domain.
Just A few more points
1. If nothing at all comes up for the site, it could be that the site has not been “verified” yet, as there has not been a request made.
2. You might also check http://www.whois-search.com/ to see what details are being displayed there.
3. Even though my address details were not showing on the whois search, they were still showing on the CallingID check. So it might pay to recheck the CallingID search until something eventually shows up.
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