From a front-page story in today’s Washington Post on Internet safety:
Alan Portillo didn’t think much, if at all, about his online vulnerability. Then the 15-year-old heard technology teacher Wendy Maitland list three pieces of information an online predator would need to find him.
Birth date, she said. Alan’s age was on his e-mail.
Gender. His full name was also on his e-mail and topped his MySpace page.
ZIP code. A photo on the page showed an area near his neighborhood, with “Arlington” emblazoned across one building.
“I thought it was nothing. But when I saw the examples, I started thinking, it’s a big deal,” the Wakefield High School freshman said. After the February lesson, he said, he deleted the photo and his last name from the page.
Well, kudos to the kid on deleting that sensitive information from the web. Now nobody knows his age, gender , or where he lives — except for those upstanding citizens who read the Post, of course.