Has everyone Googled themselves at least once? I try to Google myself a few times a year. It is amazing what kind of stuff you can find out just by knowing someone's name. It seems like anytime you write a review on a product or place it comes up when you Google your name. You can find out people's relatives, addresses and phone numbers. What social networks they belong too and anyone they know that has died.
Is this a good thing? It can be. I have connected with a few friends from when I was growing up and we get to keep in touch. I can also offer my condolences to people at online obituaries. And when I lived far from my family, I had a way of staying in their lives on a daily basis.
But what about when you don't want someone to find you? I think if you have a private FaceBook account it shouldn't come up when people search your name. If it's private, they shouldn't even be able to find out you have one. Is that asking too much?
We tell our children to keep their social networking pages private and only "friend" people they know. Which I would change to, only people your parents have met and agree to having them friend.
Knowing someone nowadays is so vague with social networking. Most children don't even know who most of their friends are online. I've seen pages where children have hundreds of friends. I don't know about you, but even at my age, I haven't had that many friends throughout my lifetime.
I check on my nieces and nephews every once-in-awhile to make sure they're safe online. I did find one posted their cell number and another their address, but that was taken care of in a matter of minutes. Parents need to keep on top of these things. And just because they took things down, does not mean they won't be back on again. Keep checking.
And here we are telling our children how to be safe online and about posting pictures and who friends you. But then we, as adults, go and put all kinds of family pictures and videos online. And lots of us will friend just about anyone that knows someone that knows someone we know. Is that any safer? We should start practicing what we preach. On Facebook, if someone likes something on your page, their friends can usually see it.
So I advise all of you out there to check your children's online profiles today and then go and check your own. Make sure things you wouldn't have your child post are not posted on your site.
And go Google yourself! Have a happy and safe day!