Your image on the Internet is crucial, because it can be consulted by your friends, by your employer, in fact by everyone. It is important to be aware of it and to adjust it when it is possible.

Monitor your trails on internet

Google yourself

Obviously the first step is finding out what your digital trail is or looks like. To do this, start searching for yourself on Google and other search engines, like Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo. When you search for your name, but put quotation marks around it.

By searching for your name in quotes, you ensure that the search engine will look for that phrase as a whole, instead of just breaking it down. Even doing this, you may not find anything that you can associate with your name. If not, after the quotes, also add your state (and city, if you really want to narrow things down) to find more relevant results.

Setup Google Alerts

Another thing you can do to keep tabs on what people are saying about you on the Internet is to create a Google Alert for yourself. You can create an alert at https://www.google.com/alerts. You can add any keywords you want to this alert, but to keep an eye out on yourself on the Web, you can put in your name. You can also create multiple alerts, maybe with different keywords to better identify information being said about you on the Internet.

Google Alerts
Google Alerts

In addition, you can set the frequency of these alerts. When you enter a keyword in the box to create an alert, be sure to click the Show Options button. This will allow you to choose the frequency (weekly is usually the best choice), the types of sources, the type of language, the country you want this information to come from, and finally the type of results you are looking for. You can choose “All”, but then you will be bombarded with useless information; choose “Only the best results” instead.

Request deletion of data

You can do this under a Google Image search as well, looking for any images of yourself. If there’s an image you want taken down, generally you can do so by contacting the site admin. If they deny, you can send them a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) takedown notice in EU or a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice. in the USA Under Section 512, it’s illegal for someone to post an involuntary photo of you without your consent.

If you have trouble contacting the site or if there is no contact form, you can contact the owner through the registrar/host, available on the whois.

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