At Reppler, we currently focus on monitoring social networks and Facebook in particular, but since we recognize that there may be other, possibly damaging information to be found via search engines, we want to give you a heads up about a new Google privacy tool that assists you with monitoring other web content. Designed to help users protect online privacy and identity, the new tool, Me on the Web, is easily accessible on the Google Dashboard and encourages you to keep track of your personal information as it appears on the web. While Google Alerts already enables users to receive notification whenever their name is mentioned online, the new tool provides additional links to resources about how to protect personal information online and remove unwanted information.
Already existing Google tools make it possible for users to post or search online under a pseudonym, but damage to your reputation often originates from outside sources. As Google states in their Me on the Web announcement,
Your online identity is determined not only by what you post, but also by what others post about you — whether a mention in a blog post, a photo tag or a reply to a public status update.
With an incredible boom in social networking sites, it is alarmingly easy to lose track of any personal information that is spreading through the web. Privacy and online reputation management has become a major issue in recent years, not just in the US, but worldwide. The recent and somewhat extreme case of Gennette Cordova serves as a chilling example for how fast social networking can get out of control and have a serious impact on your reputation and your privacy. Overnight, her name and personal information were displayed all over the web as she got caught up in the scandal over Representative Anthony Weiner’s photographs. So if you want to control how you are being perceived in content that can be found through Google, the Me on the Web tool may be a good start.