Who is selling and buying your information online?

It's hard not to feel insecure about the economy these days, but at least your identity's safe, right? That's what host Tess Vigeland thought. She's the type who shreds documents, and only pays online at accredited websites.

But recently someone with the online security firm Safe Shepherd sent her a dossier with a close-up look at all the stuff people can find out about Tess. She was shocked.

The info found: Tess' married and maiden names (she uses her maiden name on-air, a delibrate choice), her current address, previous addresses and more. And that was from the most simple search available.

So Tess asked Robert Leshner of SafeShepherd.com to come in and talk about how much of our data is up for grabs and who's wanting it.

Most of the information online about you has always been publicly available. It's just with all public information moving online, it's much easier for data brokers to find and aggregate that information.

"Any of the pieces of information on their own are somewhat harmless," Robert Leshner said. "But the picture that can be built about somebody when all of these pieces of information come together -- such as where you live and how much money you make and your political views and your interests and who your family members are and your cell phone number, even if it's not published -- when all of this comes together, it makes it very easy for anybody with the wrong intent to cause trouble."

Listen to the audio above to learn who's looking for this information and potential ways you can protect yourself.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.

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