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Google Me.

March 30, 2009

See no GoogleHave you ever Googled your name or your email address? Try it out once and see what happens. Every time we join a site, group, get tagged in a photo or mentioned in a blog our identity creates a digital footprint. Much like looking at a timeline your internet history can be traced if you don’t take the appropriate measures.

Protect yourself on the web. Don’t use your real name when creating profiles on website rather use a nickname. In the case of Facebook where they require your real name, make sure you have your profile marked as private and viewable only by people you add as friends. Remember that even if you have your profile marked as private, photos of you tagged by others are viewable by the general public. Be sure to “un-tag” anything that you wouldn’t want your mother or potential employer to see and ask that friends respect your privacy in regards to posting pictures of you.

Be cautious about what you say in online discussion forums or in blogs, these too will show up in a search if they are attached to your real name. Be careful who you share your real name identity with, for instance my X-husband created an account on a classical music forum years and years ago using my name, to this day, anything he says in that forum is automatically attached to my name.

At networking sites like LinkedIn or Jigsaw where you want to use your real identity, keep it all professional. Don’t add fun pictures, details about your personal life or political/religious stances. Rather use these forums to highlight your professional qualifications, network with other professionals and explore opportunities. On job sites like Monster or Careerbuilder use only your email address as a means of contact protecting your phone number and your address. Identity theft is always a concern when divulging too much on the WWW.

So Google yourself when you get a chance and see how “webproof” you are or aren’t. If you don’t like what you see, take measures to correct it and prevent your web footprint from hindering any opportunities that might be waiting for you.

Amy

You are welcome to contact me at achastek@onl.herzing.edu or to find out more information on the best place on Earth to work and go to school click here.

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