Most of us have probably searched our own name at some point. But search engines don't pick up everything. Investigating yourself on the internet can be a very useful way to see what's already out there about you, and make decisions for the future
Once you’ve had a look at what's out there, take a critical look at the data, think about what a stranger may be able to figure out with just a little effort. You might want to keep certain things private or separate your online identities.
- Before you start, make sure you log out of your email and social media accounts, clear your browser history and cookies, and use privacy-protecting search engine like DuckDuckGo. It is also good idea to take notes as you go along, on what you have done and what you have found.
- Start by creating a list of all your usernames. Then do a search for your name and all your different usernames in a search engine. Note that it is recommended to use a privacy-protecting search engine.
- Next, go to different social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Flickr, and search for your name and user names. What do these platforms reveal about you?
Further investigation tactics
- List all your email addresses and also do a search on them.
- Gather current and past numbers phone numbers and do reverse lookups
- Collect your profile pictures and do a reverse image search. Google reverse image search will give you similar images, sites that include the images and other sizes of the image you searched for.
- Search for your profile picture on TinEye reverse image search, which will reveal which other websites have posted your picture.
For more, as well as how-tos on identity management, have a look at Tactical Tech's Gender and Tech wiki.