Have you Googled yourself lately?
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I was watching a news program recently and heard an “expert” say that you should Google yourself periodically to try to find out what was “out” on the internet about you. That way you could be proactive and try to clear up anything negative you might find – not that you can always really do much about it once “something” is launched into cyber space. I thought to myself that I had nothing to fear. I couldn’t imagine I’d even have much of anything come up with my name attached to it (at least that was about me.) Imagine my surprise when I found several links that really did reference me, either attached to organizations I serve or have served, or charities I support, or even a notice that appeared in my college alumni magazine from ten years ago.
There were a few links that indicated that there were several people with the same name out there on Facebook and Linked In. I found links that connected me to my mother, my siblings and an obituary notice. And then of course there were the links that for a few bucks would give you more personal information about me. I have to admit that “creeped” me out a bit. What personal information would they have? Maybe I should have spent the money to find out.
It was also interesting to find out about other people who share my name. Some of them have done great things. I even found one who has a spouse with the same name – how unlikely is that.
And all this got me thinking if I found all this with very little effort what could a motivated person put together about me from everything that is out there? No wonder identity theft is an increasingly growing problem. Does this mean we shouldn’t allow our names to be published with anything?