It’s amazing how much information we give out unintentionally on our cell phones when we use them in public places where everyone can hear our conversation.

I was in a doctor’s office in Canton when the man sitting behind me received a call from his mother. He must have had his phone on speaker mode, since I could hear both sides of the conversation. Evidently, the pilot light had gone out on her hot water heater and she wanted him to light it.

"I’ll be there about six, once I get off work."

"Oh," she replied, "I’m going to the senior center tonight. I won’t be home, but I will leave a key in the mailbox."

"Are they still paving your street?" he asked.

"No, they moved over to Main Avenue."

A few minutes later, they paged the man for his appointment, giving his full name. I was surprised at how much information they unknowingly revealed to everyone. I’m sure someone who is phone savvy could quickly Google the information and find the residence.

Another incident happened while waiting for a table in a restaurant. The young girl sitting next to us called her sister and asked her to pick up a package for her at a local store this Saturday.

"Jason and I are going on a weekend getaway and won’t be back until Sunday night." She gave her sister all the information she needed to pick up the merchandise, even the confirmation number. Once again, anyone sitting around her received the same information she gave her sister.

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in this country. Data breaches occur on a regular basis. Thousands of people have their personal information compromised by hackers every day. Even the U.S. government has been hacked. Now you know why they had phone booths for pay phones in years past.

With all the information we give out willingly, it’s a wonder more of us aren’t affected. It’s food for thought the next time you use your cell phone in public.