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Reverse Number Search: Harmful Or Helpful?

Mar 6, 2008
Information is becoming easier to obtain. With the explosion of the internet, a new information gathering technology has become commonplace on the web: reverse number searches. Now with only a phone number, you can get information on an individual's name, address, criminal history, family members, and other potentially destructive pieces of information.

So is there a concern for privacy? The government and services around the world don't seem to think so. In Australia, there was a service called DTMS which was basically aggregation of phone numbers of various phone services providers. It was available to anyone willing to buy it, and contained the information on all Australian phone numbers. However, in 2005 it was discontinued due to the phone carriers' disagreement with the provider of that information.

Privacy concerns aside, reverse number search is a powerful and simple way to get information. Most reverse number search sites offer a limited service for free. They will tell you the approximate city and state that is related to a number and for a fee they will tell you about an individual's criminal history along with their name and address. This type of information can be highly useful to someone who has lost touch with an old business contact or wants information about a prank caller.

To understand why this technology might threaten individual privacy and even safety, however, you only have to consider a common event in dating culture: the passing of a woman's phone number to a man. While the majority of men would never use this information for any criminal purpose, reverse number searches have the potential to give too much information to the wrong kind of person. With that little bit of information in hand, a serial killer could not only find the name and address of his next victim, he could also obtain information about any relatives that might be living in the same house.

One of the most common reasons individuals use reverse number search is to investigate suspected cheating on the part of their spouse. If a strange number shows up on their telephone bill, a suspicious spouse no longer has to spend a small fortune on a private investigator. They need only type the number into a reverse number search website, pay a small fee, and click search. This information could either confirm the suspicion or restore the searcher's confidence.

Essentially, the responsibility to keep the number information private will lie with the owner as well as those that possess other people's data. If someone wants to keep their information private, they can request a private mobile or fixed line number, and that will prevent the number from showing on the recipient's phone.

As with so many technologies that have become widely available because of the internet, reverse number searches serve both harmful and helpful functions. The ease of gathering information has sparked an exponential rise in identity theft and cyber crime. Reverse number search can be very helpful to those who use the information correctly, but at the hands of criminals and overly-jealous spouses they can be highly destructive.
About the Author
Greg is an expert author contributing materials to a broad range of article directories and websites, including Reverse Number Search . He owns and operates a website devoted to Reverse Number Search technology: http://www.reversenumbersearchonline.com
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