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Brooks: “Sometimes common sense is the least common of the senses when people are in a state of attraction. Or like him on Facebook at facebook.com/stevenpetrow.People let their guard down a little too early.” That would never happen to me. I.” But I didn’t know any of that so I bought a -a-month premium subscription to White Pages, a “people search” service.After I’d get a guy’s phone number, I’d run it through the “reverse lookup” feature and voilà!I soon learned that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.My texting scheme meant I had their number – but they had mine too.
With that data I’d turn to Google, where among other things I found a photo of one guy who had claimed to be single wearing a wedding band. “Just about anyone is going to Google your name before they meet you these days,” explained Rich Matta, CEO of Reputation Defender, a service that promises to cleanse your online presence.That was puzzling until I reached out to Thomas Martin, president of Martin Investigative Services, who explained: “Could be a number of factors.The most common is a burner phone, or they went to great lengths not to have their number in anyone’s system.” (Burner phones are generally used for one reason, such as a drug deal or clandestine relationship, then dumped.) When I couldn't confirm someone’s identity, I backed away.You can contact them directly or use a third-party service like his.“This doesn’t remove every possible trace of your information on the Internet, but it certainly makes you much harder to find.” But the last word goes to Mr. What you can do to practice safer sexting USA TODAY columnist Steven Petrow offers advice about living in the digital age. You can also follow Petrow on Twitter: @Steven Petrow.