How many of you have put your name into Google?

I admit it, I have and I’m not embarrassed about saying so… it’s a good thing, and I am going to tell you why now!

If you run your own business, or even if you’re an employee you need to know what’s out there about you on the world wide web.  One way of finding out what’s out there is to do a search of your name.  It’s not vain, it’s sensible!

I have been using the Internet since the late 1990’s (I know, I don’t look that old…) so the amount of information someone could possibly find about me online that might still be hanging around since I was 18 years old is worrying.  Not only because at 18 years old I wasn’t quite as careful about what information I shared online, it was new, I didn’t know what I know now.

When I grew up and realised the error of my ways (posting in forums, chatting to random people in chat rooms etc…) I decided it was a good idea to regularly Google my name and check that all the information about me online wasn’t going to land me in some awkward situations.  So go on, Google my name and see what you come up with?

I expect the first thing which will come up is Jo Harrison the tattooist… but I don’t think there will be anything incriminating, if there is please let me know?

The good things that I expect to find when Googling myself is my website, my Facebook page, my Google+ page, my Twitter account, my LinkedIn profile… I can’t really stop these from showing up in the results, but other things like personal forum posts if deleted will soon disappear out of the Google cache hopefully.

The Internet is a great place to find out what someone is like, and if you want to make sure your online profile is free of skeletons then you need to Google your name, your business and anything else related to you to see what information can be found about you.  It’s the sensible thing to do, as well as checking your privacy settings on social networking sites such as Facebook.

A good way of controlling what is said about you online is to be more conscious about what you’re putting online in the first place… so when you update Facebook from your smartphone while you’re out drinking with friends, maybe a bit worse for wear, remember it might not just be your friends who will see your updates, especially if your privacy settings aren’t quite up to scratch.  It’s all about thinking before you post… Now go and search your name and see what’s in your Google closet!

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