ZoomInfo has probably collected information about you and others who share your name: is what’s there accurate?

ZoomInfo home page screenshotIt was in the course of researching and authoring a book on LinkedIn for recruiting with my colleague Bill Vick that I first learned about the online business information service ZoomInfo. Why it came up at the time was that it was commonplace for the recruiting specialists we were interviewing to mention using ZoomInfo as one of the tools they used to find out about candidates.

Since then, when I have mentioned ZoomInfo during presentations, it usually seems to be only people with experience in recruiting who know about it.

What I found particularly interesting once I looked into ZoomInfo was the fact that, unlike sites such as LinkedIn where you need to join and then provide information about yourself, ZoomInfo does not wait for anyone to upload their own information and, as my experience and that of others attests, stores and displays information about people who do not even know of its existence.

In my non-technical parlance, it just scoops up information about people and displays it. If that is not of sufficient concern for someone in business that they would go and check out what is on ZoomInfo about them, I don’t know what would.

When I first looked, there were several “identities” under my name which were all, in fact, my own, mixed up with links about other people of the same name, such as the Herbalife guy, the playwright and the parish priest.

Claiming identity and editing the profile data

What I was able to do was to claim my own identity, consolidate the different links for under the one item and then edit the information. To do that I had to join ZoomInfo and supply credit card details. I was not charged anything at the time or since – it was from memory a “good faith” checking system. (Note: this is not a recommendation that you happily provide your credit card details: just sharing my experience.)

And today, in the process of bringing myself up to date on ZoomInfo, I realized that even the information I had provided to fill out my profile was out of date. So as I had registered previously I was able to go in and update my information and the picture of myself on the site.

edited profile on ZoomInfo screenshot

Alert about alerts

One challenge I had in signing in to the ZoomInfo site was that I had the warning message: “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate” and a recommendation not to proceed. I chose to proceed and had no problems, but of course I am not recommending that. It does seem that the ZoomInfo site owners might have a problem there, as I had the warning on two separate browsers.

Have you checked out your profile on ZoomInfo? Have you edited it? Or were you put off by the warning message on the site’s security?

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).