Gathering Personal Information Discreetly

Gathering personal information discreetly can be a tricky task. People are naturally guarded and many do not want their private information revealed to others.


The collection of personal information can be either direct or indirect. An example of a direct collection is an intake interview between a child welfare worker and a youth. Indirect collections include a teacher phoning a children’s aid society to report that a student may be in need of protection.

Think Before You Speak

When you don’t think before you speak, it can come back to bite you. Everyone has put their foot in their mouth at least once or said something they regretted later. Whether it was at a job interview, in the middle of a family argument, or just while hanging out with friends, your words can have long-lasting effects. That’s why it is important to always take a moment to reflect before you say anything.

If you’re someone who is naturally blunt and says what’s on your mind, it may be hard to learn how to think before you speak. However, this can be very damaging to those around you, especially if the things you say are hurtful or insensitive. You never know how someone will take what you say, especially in this day and age when news travels faster than the speed of light.

To help you stay in control of your emotions and think before you speak, try training yourself to press an inner pause button. You can do this by practicing with your friends or peers on impromptu topics. You can also use a physical or mental timer to give yourself a few seconds to consider your response before you react. It is also important to remember that overthinking can be just as problematic as not thinking enough before you speak.

Deflect the Conversation to a Different Topic

Many people use deflection as a way to avoid discussing uncomfortable or emotional topics. This can lead to feelings of isolation, strained relationships, and mental health issues. It is important to recognize and respond to deflection so that it doesn’t escalate. In addition, it is helpful to practice different strategies for handling difficult conversations.

For example, if someone is asked about their religion or political views and they choose to deflect the question by reminiscing about childhood holidays, it might be helpful to ask them a neutral question such as “What did you like most about your last vacation?” This can redirect the conversation and allow you to discuss other topics without feeling attacked or defensive.

Deflection is also commonly used as a tool to avoid discussing discrimination, bias, or other sensitive topics. This is especially common in the workplace where discussions around these topics are often uncomfortable. Often times, people who deflect by changing the subject do so to avoid addressing a specific incident that they may feel guilty about or to defend their own reputation.

One of the best ways to deal with deflection is to stay calm and not become defensive or critical. If you find yourself reacting negatively, it might be helpful to seek help from a therapist who can support you in learning better communication skills.

Don’t Give Out Too Much Information

It’s important to think before you speak and to be selective about the information that you share. Sensitive personal information should only be shared with those who have a valid need for it. When information is too widely disseminated there is a greater risk of error, misunderstanding, discrimination and prejudice. If you are required to provide personal information via email or over the phone, only offer the bare minimum and ask that it be kept confidential. If you feel that someone is prying for information, try to deflect the conversation by asking questions about themselves or bringing up a different topic altogether.

Don’t Share Personal Information Online

Whether on social media or in an email message, it is important not to share any personal information online that could be used against you. This includes your name, age, gender, address, phone number, work history, credit status, passwords, car information, family names, school names, passport information, insurance policy numbers, and other bank account details. Sharing personal information online can be risky because it can be viewed by anyone who is connected to the internet. This can be dangerous because predators, who are looking for vulnerable individuals to victimize, may use your personal information against you.

Furthermore, your professional image can be damaged if your personal information is shared online, which can hurt your chances of getting a job or progressing in your career. This is because employers often screen candidates by searching for their online profiles. Furthermore, your personal information can be used by hackers and cybercriminals to steal your identity, which can lead to financial loss, theft, or even blackmail.

If you’re unsure about how your personal information is being used online, check the website’s privacy statement (also known as a privacy policy or privacy statement) to find out. This should explain who will have access to your information, what it will be used for, and if it will be shared with any other organisations. You should also be given the option to opt out of receiving direct marketing at the point you give your information, and be able to change your preference later if you decide to.