Online shopping wish lists could reveal more about you than you might like

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A robotic vacuum and soda maker were easy presents for Mike Pryor to buy for his wife. He just shopped her online gift list. (KFSN)

A robotic vacuum and soda maker were easy presents for Mike Pryor to buy for his wife. He just shopped her online gift list.

"These wish lists are very convenient."

While such lists may be valuable gift giving tools, experts with the identity theft resource center point out the default setting on many are "public." That means anyone can search and find your name and lists.

"People simply don't know; they don't realize how much information they're sharing," said Eva Velasquez, Identity Theft Resource Center.

We asked Pryor to check the privacy settings on his family's wish lists; turns out some were "public".

"The information being shared with the wish lists and being public is quite eye-opening."

Just by browsing random wish lists we found information about peoples' occupations, ages, schools, their children, cities, and states.

The president of the Identity Theft Resource Center says the information can be puzzle pieces for identity thieves.

"Think of your identity like a puzzle, and the more pieces of the puzzle someone has the better the picture they have, and the easier it would be to pretend to be you and commit identity theft," said Velasquez.

And that's not all-- other unwanted visitors may be able to find your information.

"Perhaps you have a jealous ex-boyfriend or girlfriend and they're looking at your wedding registry that you have publicly available. You're giving them a lot of information, and maybe you don't want them to have that information," said Velasquez.

So what can you do? Experts suggest making your lists private, and share them only with people you want to see that information-- that's what Pryor did.

"I am a very private person; having somebody find more information out about me that I prefer not to share that is very disconcerting."

The Identity Theft Resource Center is based in San Diego and works with businesses, governmental agencies, law enforcement, and other consumer groups to create open discussions about protecting personal information.
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