Why ‘googling’ yourself should be part of your digital health check

When was the last time you googled yourself? Some may ask why on earth would I want to do that? Well it is an effective way of finding out what others can learn about you from the Internet. What information is actually public?

Your online reputation is your responsibility. When you create social profiles, the information you choose to provide is self-volunteered. If you use Facebook, check your privacy settings regularly to ensure you are happy with what information can be shared. Select from sharing with friends, friends of friends and public. (For posts you can also choose to share with specific groups).

When you conduct a search of your name, the results that appear on this first page will depend on how common your name is. For example John Smith will bring back huge results! However if someone is looking for you and don’t get immediate results, they are likely to then add further search terms such as the town you live in or your current place of work.

If you have social media profiles, these are most likely to be at the top of the search results. Try searching your name and the name of a social media site you use. This can help to identify specific profiles and see what information others can view.

On a positive note, having social media profiles such as LinkedIn, Twitter, a blog or SlideShare account can be a useful way of showcasing your professional self and the work you do.

Reasons for Googling yourself

  • Check if any private or sensitive information about yourself or family is online
  • To ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best possible light
  • Identify if others are sharing information about you that might be embarrassing or inaccurate (do you really want your employer to see those ‘funny’ in the moment photos or videos?)
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