I read in a novel that it is possible to track a telephone number via your
webpage. Is that possible? I would like to know because it is somewhat
It really depends on what you mean by “your webpage”. There are definitely
scenarios where you need and/or want to be particular careful about what
information you provide. But most people don’t need to worry.
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If you purchase your own internet domain, one of the things you are required
to provide is a working telephone number. There are various ways to
not provide your own home phone number, but many people forget or
don’t bother, and as a result their information – sometimes even their home
address – can be quickly found by doing what’s called a “whois” look up on the
For example, if you go out to DNSstuff.com, scroll down to the tool labelled WHOIS
lookup, enter a domain name there and press the WHOIS
button, you’ll get this information. Do it for “ask-leo.com”, and you’ll see in
part, something like this:
Domain name: ask-leo.com Registrant Contact: Puget Sound Software Leo Notenboom ****@pugetsoundsoftware.com) +1.2067740432 Fax: +1.2067740432 P.O. Box 2841 Woodinville, WA 98072 US
That’s my contact information. The email is cloaked, but often it’s not. But
you’ll notice a phone number and a mailing address. Both are required.
You’ll note that I’ve preserved my private information by using a post
office box. And the phone number? It’s not my home number by any stretch. If I
didn’t want to take those steps there are also services that will act as an
intermediary – you list their information, and they filter any attempts to
real risk is the information that you had to provide …”
But if you’re not careful, it’s all to easy to forget and actually set up
your home address and phone number in the registation information.
If “your web page” is something else, like your page on myspace.com, a
blogging service or some other service that gives you a place to have a web
page, the answer varies. You should definitely take care to make sure that any
information you’re required to provide isn’t published by the provider, or if
it is, that you obfuscate it some how. For example when you create your profile
on a service like Hotmail, there’s no reason to provide your real phone number.
In fact, if you choose to make your profile public, there’s every reason not
to. More importantly: if you have the option, don’t allow your profile
to be public to begin with.
So the bottom line is that for any web page that you put out on the web, the
real risk is the information that you had to provide to make it. If
you take care to give appropriately obscure information, or make sure that the
provider doesn’t just hand it out, you should be quite safe from casual