Beware: What Shows Up When You Google Yourself?

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – How often do you Google something on your phone or computer?

Google processes 3.5 billion searches every day.

But, while you’re using Google to find things, others might be trying to Google you.

But there are ways you can better control what pops up first when they search.

Online expert David Erickson says it’s important to know what shows up when you type in your own name. That’s especially important if you’re trying to get into college, move into a new place or are hunting for a job.

A prospective employer will likely Google you before they hire.

Our social footprint is everywhere. So what shows up in a search?

“If you’ve been in the news for any reason, you’ve got images from your social profile that show up, YouTube videos that you’ve uploaded,” Erickson said. “Think about your social media profiles and everything you have online in the sense of how you want to present yourself to the world.”

If you want to put your best foot forward, that includes controlling what’s online, says Erickson.

People typically look at the first 3 results. So, if you Google yourself and see something you don’t like, is there anything you can do?

“Add more content. You need to fight content that you don’t like with more content that you do like. Starting a blog, where you control the content. If there’s images you don’t like, then adding images that counteract that, having active social media profile so Twitter will show up in Google search results. I always tell people dot.com themselves, buy your own domain name and put content up there,” Erickson said.

If you don’t like what you see from social media, modify or delete a post, or ask a friend to untag you or remove a post or photo.

You can contact a website that has unwanted content.

Google will only consider removing sensitive information, like a bank account number.

“They don’t want to police the internet, police content, it’s on you to do that,” Erickson said.

Another tip is you can set up a Google alert for yourself, which lets you know when someone posts something with your name in it.

Just go to the set-up page, put your name in, set your options and create the alert.

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