Know what’s online and in databases about you.

[Reprint from USA Today.]

TECH TIPS: Ask Kim Komando

Ever wonder just how much information about you is contained in corporate databases and on the Internet? Here’s a hint. It’s much more than you think.

If your telephone number is published, a simple Google search can turn up your home address, phone number and a map to your front door. Everyone knows that. But there are other databases and sites that contain intimate details of your life.

Specialty reports let potential insurers check your prescription history. Retailers can view your purchase returns history. And your employment and rental history are also online.

This information may be incorrect. It can haunt you when you apply for a job, credit or health insurance. So, it’s a good idea to do a background check on yourself from time to time.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act lets you request free credit reports once a year. You can also request a report if you’ve been denied credit based on information it contains. And, you can request that any errors be corrected.

Credit reports

Credit reports are widely used to verify your credit-worthiness. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are the three main reporting agencies. You can request your free report by visiting You can request reports from all three agencies.

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