What does the Internet say about you?

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Here’s something to think about – if you’re talking to someone you met and they know your full name, do you know what they’ll find if they Google it?

Most of us wouldn’t think twice about searching the Net for information about someone we’re curious about, but how often do we take the time to check in with what information is available to people who might want to do the same to us?

The majority of dating sites are not geared towards exposing your full name. In fact, most of them advise you not to use your full name when dealing with their other customers. Sometimes, though, you may meet people on social networking sites such as Facebook, etc. and then all bets are off.

Remember also that if you have a distinctive username that’s often associated with your name or anything that could make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to searching for info about you, people will be able to use it to do some basic research on you.

I think this is something we’re just going to have to live with. But even if the Internet can reveal some stuff about your dark past you’d rather people didn’t know, it’s good to be aware of what’s out there. You might not be able to get rid of it, but at least you’ll know what to expect.

In many cases, you can actually do your own reputation management online quite simply.

For example, if there are pictures of you out there you would rather never see again, it never hurts to email the people who run the site they’re on and ask (nicely) for them to be removed.

Sadly, if the problem involves, say, an article on the site of your local newspaper talking about something embarrassing you did in public, you might need to be a bit creative to make that disappear 🙂

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