WSVN — There’s an old saying, "Be careful what you wish for," and that’s very true, especially when it comes to Internet shopping on the biggest online retailer. 7’s Craig Stevens has more on a feature that’s there for convenience but could allow someone to steal your identity.
We all love shopping online and on Amazon- you can buy just about anything, day or night.  

David Roman, online shopper: "I use Amazon to shop for everything now, from household goods to technology."

And if you’re not ready to buy what you want, you can always put it on your wish list.

Diana Davila, online shopper: "If I want a luxury for myself later on, I’ll keep it there."

But what many people don’t realize is that when you click that button, it’s public, which means your wish list is out there for everyone to see.

All you need is your own Amazon sign-in, go to "Lists," and insert a friend’s name or e-mail address to see what’s on their list. We took a look at Belkys’ list, and it looks like she wants to get busy in the kitchen.

7’s legal analyst Howard Finkelstein says, depending on what you’re saving, having a public wish list could reveal things you’d rather keep private.

Howard Finkelstein: "You’re looking for a book on cancer, or maybe it’s a venereal disease, or maybe it’s something having to do with a failed relationship. If those people are setting out on a course to harm you, well, you’ve just put bullets in their gun."

But it’s not just about embarrassment or invasion of privacy. Hacking experts say a public list is a gateway to identity theft.

Jeremy Schoeneman, SecureState Senior Analyst: "It’s dangerous because it is public, and it’s open to anybody."

Internet security experts from SecureState actually used a wish list to show how easily they could take control of a volunteer’s private account.

Jeremy Schoeneman: "We were able to find his wish list, and through that, we were able to call up Amazon and eventually have him reset his. From there we were able to gain a billing address, the last four [digits] credit card information, and ultimately that led to further compromise."

We contacted Amazon, but they did not respond. However, our shoppers had different reactions. David says he’s not changing anything.

David Roman: "I think if you’re going to buy into online purchasing, you are opening yourself up to that kind of attack."

But Diana set her lists to private.

Diana Davila: "It just makes me feel funny that somebody knows what books I’m planning to read. I’m a private person. I don’t want to have that out there.
Bottom line, no matter the website, make sure you know what’s private and what’s public, and be careful what you wish for.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox