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Safety in numbers

Safety in numbers

Publishing personal banking information doesn’t seem like the best way to solve your financial woes, says Precious de Leon


March 14, 2011 4:53 by

It’s not out of the ordinary anymore to see a product ask its customers to pitch creative ideas for advertising under the guise of a competition nor is it unorthodox anymore to see media companies gather up-to-the-minute information through local citizens in social networks.

Crowdsourcing is definitely where it’s at these days. After all, at some point we’ve all searched for answers online, whether it’s what to have for lunch or where to go for vacation.

What’s been most useful in sites like TripAdvisor and TimeOut has always been the unbiased comments and reviews from other site visitors—opinions that will always remain more valuable then any ad and company-owned website information.

But Kipp’s eyebrow raises at seeing a trend in people crowdsourcing financial advise to anonymous people online.

We’re not talking about just giving a vague idea of how much trouble you’re in, but publish figures, account information and breakdown in public discussion threads online.

It looks like those stung by the financial crisis—credit cardholders, investors and loan holders alike—are posting their financial affairs publicly online in search of anyone who might be able to help them make sense of things.

Financial websites are already getting on the bandwagon, including and

Now, it’s one thing to allow other people’s opinions to influence your own when it comes to restaurant or hotel choices and quite another thing if it’s advice that could have a substantial ripple effect to your way of life.

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