We all generate personal information every day, every time we connect to the Internet, use an app on our mobile or access an online service. If we discussed it in a forum, social networking, or we do it in a story that strikes us, we leave a trace digital revealing things about our personality, at least.
Without going to the extreme of the obsession to control every bit of information that we leave floating in the network, it is good to have identified what can be inferred from us when someone searches. For example, a recruiter, a client, our boss … all of them can have easy access to our digital identity, which is, precisely, all that information that is available, whether it is generated by us or from official publications, documentation, third-party publications, even data breaches.
The Art of Finding Yourself or Practicing Egosurfing
Egosurfing is nothing more than searching for yourself on the Internet. We can all do something from time to time to find out what can be found. But it is not as simple as looking up our name. The Internet Security Office (OSI) clarifies it for us:
It consists of using social networks and Internet search engines, such as Google, using search terms related to us, such as our name, surname, ID, etc., of locating information about us on websites and other platforms.
This is a good practice that should be done periodically. Every month we introduce new information that talks about us, and it is convenient to know what is said, how, by whom and for what purpose. This way, we can identify the information that should not be there and begin its elimination process.
Where To Look?
- The Google Alerts. The main search engine is the most used and has tools such as Alerts that are extremely useful for this purpose. It is enough to create alerts with our data (basically, name and surname, postal address, email address, telephone number). When something new is published, an email will arrive in the mailbox. We can configure a mail filter to store them all in a single folder and review them periodically.
- Google search for terms that identify us. Google images can also be used to track our photos.
- Search on social networks. All of them have their search engines in which to enter the terms that we want to track.
Suppose we find information that should not be published. In that case, we have to enforce our rights, particularly the right to be forgotten, so that we eliminate unwanted information.
We must know how to perfectly configure the privacy options in social networks, which OSI explains to us with a series of video tutorials worth reviewing.