Who's tracking you on the Internet?

Who's tracking you on the Internet?
MERIDIAN, Idaho - Kaylee Linnarz is a typical teen. When she is not working on school work, she enjoys using the Internet for social networking.

"I talk about my family, friends, whatever I am doing through the week, or whatever I feel like during the day," Kaylee said.

Kaylee says most of her friends use sites like Facebook, and believes it's a great way to communicate. But while the computer is a popular pass time for the teen, her mother says it's a hobby that needs monitoring.

Sheri Linnarz is a Meridian mother of five, and says has strict rules when it comes to Internet use in her household. Her children only use the computer in the front room, so she can watch the websites they are searching and see who they talk to.

"The rules are there and we talk about it, and they know where to go and where not to go, just to keep them safe. Because if you don't keep your kids safe, nobody is going too," Sheri said about her Internet rules.

Sheri admits she rarely uses the computer, and when she does it's really just for emailing and Facebook. Sheri said she keeps all of her private information off the web, but when KBOI did some online research we found out a lot more information than she wanted us to know.

For a few dollars and in a few minutes, we were able to obtain not only basic information about Sheri, but background information like her employment history, bank records and hobbies.

"That's a little frightening. That makes a me a little nervous. If I can know that about you, what if I knew that about your 16-year-old daughter? Yeah, not good, especially for sick people out there, " Linnarz said.

It's information Sheri didn't put on the Internet herself, but public records that eventually make their way to the world wide web.

"People need to know what they put on the Internet isn't necessarily private," Jim Kouril, part of the criminal investigation department of the Idaho Attorney General Office, said.

Kouril heads up an agency called Internet Crimes Against Children. He said the Internet is giving online predators easy access to children and information. Kouril says parents need to make sure social network sites are set to private and not post pictures to the web.

He said pictures can contain latitude and longitude points making it easy for people to pinpoint your exact location. Kouril said it's crucial for parents to be involved in their family's online experience and be aware there's a lot more out there than you think.

"Just don't hand them the keys to a computer or a cell phone and expect them to know what's right and wrong on the information highway."