Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
Information about law enforcement officers readily available Online
The Internet is a double edge sword for law enforcement officials. Public
records and commercial information has long been used as an investigatory tool
by police officers. But, in the past you had to ferret out the information.
Trips to court, county hall of records or to the backwards book would give you
access to a suspects personal information. Now, that information is readily
available online. Except, so is information about police officers.
ZABA is a website that acts as a portal to public and commercial databases. By
combing the power of the Internet and relational databases ZABA has made a
tremendous amount of information freely available. Indeed, the word ZABA is
from the Greek word, "tzaba", meaning "free" or "at no cost." A free search
will likely provide your home address, telephone number and possibly your date
of birth. And, for a small fee someone can obtain extensive information about
Click here to find yourself on ZABA
After you visit the site and found out how much information is available about
you and your family, come back and look at several steps you can take to limit
the amount of information floating on the net about you.
Open a post office box. Have as much of your mail as possible directed to
post office box. Be sure you have credit card statements, utility bills and
magazine subscriptions come to the box. This is probably the most effective and
least expensive long term solution.
An unlisted number isn't an unknown number. It is simply not in directory
assistance or in the telephone book. It can be obtained. And, most of the
time, you give it out. Especially when you fill out applications, etc. Get a
new unlisted number for your home. Obtain caller identification technology and
only give the number out to friends and relatives. Consider using a cellular
telephone number, with the bill going to your post office box, as a means of
controlling the number
of people and organizations who have your telephone number.
Do not fill out any form, for any company or organization that does not have a
not have such a policy in place, do business with another firm.
You can try to file a written request with information providers, asking that
your information be kept private or deleted from their database. Some will
comply, many will not.
Start a family trust and conduct your business through that trust. If you
in a position to do so, you might also consider a corporation or DBA as a means
to control the flow of your personal information.
a shredder. Shred all credit card, mortgage reduction, charity solicitation and
any mail that has your personal information on it.
Of course, bookmark ZABA. Its not going away and is an excellent resource for