What is egosurfing? A practice we should do regularly

Egosurfing is the practice of finding our personal information on the internet safely and securely. Knowing the information about you on the internet can help you control what is said and try to eliminate certain negative data that may harm you.

On the internet few things fall into oblivion, over the years it is easy to retrieve information from a person, even if it has changed over time. That is why it is important to take care of the photos and publications that we make on the internet, as well as those that third parties make about us. Let’s imagine that the network of networks is a large billboard on a busy street where everyone who passes can see our lives. 

These photos, data and other information can influence the future, help us to get a job or just the opposite. Everyone has a past and may have made mistakes that they would not repeat now, but on the internet it is more difficult to leave those mistakes behind. That is why it is advisable to monitor what is on the network about us. 

This practice is called egosurfing and it may seem like a pretentious act, but it is a good way to make sure that no one posts negative information about us. What’s more, when we fall for an online scam and a cybercriminal steals our data, we run the risk of it ending up in the wrong hands or published somewhere. Searching our name on Google or on social networks we make sure that everything that is shown leaves us in a good place or is not very personal and private.

Tricks for egosurfing

If you want to monitor and find all the information on the network about you there are several tricks you can use. We explain the most popular and simple.

Egosurfing

Google search engine: 

Typing your name in the search engine of any browser allows us to make a first superficial search. If you opt for a job, your future bosses may also carry out this search and what they find will tell them whether or not they can hire you.

It is advisable to carry out several searches in different browsers and search engines, as well as to consult the sections of images, videos and news that appear with our name.

Search in social networks:

Social networks are a great source of personal information that we share many times without being aware of the risk we are running. You may not have configured the privacy of your profile correctly. By doing a quick search of your name you can detect fake profiles that are impersonating your identity, for example.

In addition, searching other platforms or networks where you do not have an account can also help detect fake accounts that are posing as you and may be sharing personal information or deceiving your friends and family. You can search with your name, email or other information that identifies you.

Google Alerts for egosurfing:

This tool developed by Google sends us email notifications every time a website is published or detected in which a topic that interests us has been mentioned. It is very useful to know everything about a field of study that interests you, but also to monitor your personal data. 

Enter the Google Alerts website and write the data you want to find in quotes, we give you some fictitious examples:

  • Name and surname: “Marta Surname”, “Marta Surname Surname” or “Surname, Marta”.
  • Name and surname, plus the city: “Marta Surname” Madrid.
  • Address: “Calle Marta, 017”.
  • Postal address and city: “Calle Marta 017” Madrid.
  • Email address: martaa [email protected] .
  • Telephone number or DNI (with or without spaces or hyphens): “123456789”, “0123456A”

Then you can configure the notifications with the frequency, the language and the email we want to send them to, among other things.

If you detect negative or stolen information, for example in a false profile, the Internet Security Office recommends reporting it as soon as possible both to the platform on which it is published and to the authorities if they have supplanted your identity. It is also advisable that you review the privacy settings of each website or social network where you have an account to prevent a stranger from accessing that personal information.

Lastly, we must be aware that as Internet users we have the right to be forgotten, an option to eliminate negative information that other users or companies have published. Although this right does not work the same on all continents.

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