March 23, 2012
You’d be surprised to find out how much of your information is out there. Your data lives in hundreds of locations online and may even be sold without your permission. Yet, a lot of people maintain trust and feel confident when searching, buying and socializing online–believing their personal information gets lost in the sheer volume of online transactions that take place on a daily basis.
Your personal information can be found through:
- Search people databases such as Spokeo or Intelius
- Major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing
- Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- The deep web – the part of the web that cannot be accessed through ordinary search engines
How does your information get there in the first place?
That’s easy. You offer it up. Consider all the things you do online: emailing, shopping, social networking, banking and many more. All of these actions require us to surrender personal and, oftentimes, financial information. It is difficult to always consider carefully where your information goes before sending it into the infinite abyss of the Internet
Here are a few pointers:
3. Always opt-out when asked to if you are OK with sharing your information with third parties.
We face a serious trade-off between privacy and convenience. Short of never going online, it’s almost impossible to keep all personal information off of the Internet, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up online privacy all together. We just need to make more of an effort to be stingy and vigilant behind the keyboard.
June 17, 2011
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.