The Internet is a big place with a lot of information. While most of it is helpful, there’s also a lot of rubbish. For example, social networking sites like Facebook can help you find long-lost school friends and keep in touch with them.
Then, there’s Pipl. The site is a search engine. Nothing different about that, you say. Except that you can use the site to search for people. It’s as easy as typing in a first and last name and basic info like state and country of residence. After that, sit back and wait for the results.
The creepy part is that you will actually find very personal information showing up. Depending on the kind of trail your target has left, you can get a list of addresses, telephone numbers, etc. You even come across direct links to profiles on the various social networking sites.
Pipl gathers all the information using sources from the ‘deep web’, which is essentially those parts of the web where web-crawlers from the average search engines like Google and Yahoo do not reach. This includes databases of personal profiles, public records and other people-related documents.
Frankly, I think a site like this is dangerous. Not only can a person be cyber stalked but also he or she can potentially be targeted physically as well. For most folks, Pipl may seem like a joke but there are plenty of unscrupulous individuals just waiting to take advantage of a goldmine like this.
I did not find much information about myself thankfully. But I also do not give out much personal information about myself. Not all people are as cautious though. And in the case of public records, you do not have much choice over what gets displayed.
How much information did you find out about yourself on Pipl? What do you think of these kinds of sites? What are some of the measures you take to protect your privacy online?
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.