My DC is 12 and I'm trying to say up on concerns that she will face with the internet. Out of curiosity I Googled her name.
The first time I did it, I did it in quotes. I was surprised to find a newspaper article that I didn't even know existed that listed her first and last name and where she currently goes to school! I also found a newsletter from her previous school. I also found that her Google + account that she had recently activated with my permission used her first and last name and also showed a list of her friends. I went though her account and figured out how to just have her first name and we talked about how she should never use her last name or any specific details that are not required for registration. I basically said that the only time she should be using her first/last/social/birthdate is for school or banking.
As my DC and I were talking about this she told me she had already Googled herself and lot lots of different links and I was like...what? She searched herself w/o quotes.
I did that today and found that since she has such an unusual first and last name and shares her last name with her father and her aunt, that there are other hits. One is our family domain name registration and that includes our street address. It also includes some social activities that my DC has done with her aunt. Even though only my DC's first name was used, her aunts last name was used so that comes up in a search.
I'm not paranoid about some stalker or anything but I was surprised by how much information is available online for a child who has just stated using the internet. I wonder what other people's feelings are about this and what your experiences have been in searching for your kids or yourself online.
My kids' names and our last name are not that unusual. They're not uber-common like Jane Smith or something, but common enough that there are lots of other folks out there in google-land with their names.
I have been working on the web for a long, long time so if I search my whole name, which I use to distinguish myself from others with my first and last names (including my MIL), I do get lots of hits on myself. If I just search my first and last name I get lots of other people.
My DH is in computer security, so we're pretty careful with our kids online, but also not paranoid. My kids have had their picture in the hometown newspaper a couple of times and it wouldn't bother me to have that show up on a google search, or other community activities they have participated in.
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
I'm not super worried and I'm not worried about internet stalkers. BUT, I'm super happy that I realized the special concern my DC will have with internet anonymity because she is the only person in the world with her (first/last) name.
I have a common name so a person (and employer, for instance) can Google me and nothing can be found. But, I also didn't grow up putting stuff on the internet. Seems like things will be so different for our kids.
I google myself frequently, my husband occasionally, and my kids rarely. There names do come up, but so far not in ways that concern me.
When I talk about my kids on Facebook or whatnot I usually just use a first initial. That way it doesn't as readily come up on a google search. I don't do it due to concerns about privacy and it isn't hard to connect the dots. But I do do it so the kids have slightly more control about what information is readily available about them as they become adults. Basically so the story about potty training my two year old doesn't come up on a name search when he's 18.
For myself, I'm somewhat lucky. I have scientific publications under my name. So most of the search results for my name come up with those. Basically the web is so saturated with the stuff I want found that the stuff I'd prefer not be public is at least a page or two down on results.
Just googled myself. I was not surprised to find the usual town I currently live in and have previously lived in. I did find a thread that somebody wrote to me on a private , invite only message board, so I'm not too sure how it is now on a basic google search.
What's the deal with the quotation marks also?
Me and Dh , Dd1 Dd2,Ds1, 2, 2and lots of
I have basically no web presence. I get some hits related to my profession, but they're all "health grades" type sites. I'm not on Google+, my Facebook is locked down, and I haven't been in the newspaper for anything. My husband has a little more than I do. My kids, like us, will be the only people with their combination of first and last names, so we'll see how it plays out for them. They are still tiny so nothing yet.
Interesting. My 5th grader who does not use the internet, has a much larger web presence then I do. Both of us have unusual names, she is the only person with that name. I do share my name with one other person. Unknown to me, her school publishes the honor roll online so I could find her grades. I knew I was going to get hits with her name from her sports because she has won numerous competitions over the years. I wasn't prepared for just how many different places it had been published in. I could easily track her online from age 7 on! Even when I google pictures of myself, it only shows images of her over the years from all the times she has made it into the paper. I do have other children, nothing on them yet.
My DH checked into our domain name registration and he was told that we would have to pay extra to have or address unpublished.
I just double checked my name (in quotes since it's common) and the city I currently live. Still there's not that much but there are a few things where I shared something on FB from my site (that I think is set to pretty high security) to public sites.
There are also a few of those public record sites. On accurately lists every single city that I have ever lived in in the US. Wild!
Another interesting trick (that is good to be aware of if we/you're under the assumption that your email is private) is to google your email address. If a person isn't careful that can lead to a trail of the person's name very quickly. My name is my Email...perhaps some day I should change that - I don't know. When I searched my email some artwork that I shared through Soundcloud comes up as well as some volunteer work.
Googling my full name is funny. It's penises all the way down. Leave off my maiden name, and there's lots of people with my name. Kids don't exist online.
I was kind of horrified that searching my daughter revealed her address. She is 10.
Courtney and Cree, baby made 3, added one more then there were 4, sakes alive, then we had 5, another in the mix now we have 6!
A Momma in love with her Little Women-Jewel Face, Jo Jo Bean, June Bug, and Sweet Coraline.
Yea, me too!
For those of us who are surprised, I'm taking consolation that we found out now -- imagine the presence of a publicly active kid whose parents didn't figure this out early!
I recently read a train wreck story (very gossipy type story) about a girl who had done something insensitive online and sparked the rage of a lot of strangers, who, in turn, went through her web presence and did as much damage as they could. Of course, this girl had done things online that we would not want for our kids BUT another component of that was that she probably didn't realize how easy it is to connect the dots -- given the proper motivation.
I'd love to think that my DC is always going to make good choices but of course we never know if this will be the case so I'd like her to be as aware as possible about the implications of her actions online.
Wife to DH (12.10.2009), Anchorage based doula , Proud mama to Autumn (09.03.2008), Sylas (04.25.2010), (06.11.2012), Calliope(04.23.2013) .
Another thing to consider is our presence here at Mothering. Often times a some of the things we share here - even our user names, can be a trail to information that we don't realize we're sharing. It's up to each of us how much of that we care about - but I'm realizing more and more how much of that stuff is out there. Many of us have accounts like Youtube, Amazon review accounts, Pinterest, Facebook, Blogs, other message boards. Sometimes it's not hard to hop from one thing to the next, picking up clues along the way -- that collectively can be more information than a person intends to share.
Pretty much no presence here, which I'm pretty proud of. Names of the kids are pretty unusual but upon searching not as different as I once thought ;) FULL names come up with nothing for any of us. But first and last names come up with hits for other people. I did find DD listed in a family Obit. But that was it for the first three pages of myself and my two children. I used to come up with my name in a writing anthropology but I can't even find that any more. My self with my maiden name comes up with a varity of people and professions and myself under my married name all comes up under an author (of which I'm not!)
I rotate my user names and I dislike using the same username for different fora/blogs/sites so it's harder to track that way.
However someone could put enough info together on me to find my current town and my kids full names (I just use their first inital when posting but other's do not)/birthdates and possibly even our address with lots of searching if they were on my FB and had full permission to see all of my pictures (not everyone does) and had any idea how to put clues and links together.
I even google some of my images to see if I can find them elsewhere on the net if I'm feeling concerned (that is a really handy tool).
However I have an amazing knack to be able to put faces to online identities (without even knowing what the person looks like previously). There is a local parenting forum for our old home town and I would often be out and about and just *know* that this stranger was "so and so" username back on the site. I have a slightly photographic memory and remember a LOT about people whether I've met them online or IRL and it can be pretty creepy (I can't *stop* myself from doing it though it's strictly instinctual...). And I'm one of those really good at searching people and information out on the internet. Of course I find it creepy so I tend to try and avoid such situations and would never use the info for bad, but I'm sure I'm not the only one out there like this so I just assume that anything I say can be used to figure out who I am too :)
And I'm one of those really good at searching people and information out on the internet. Of course I find it creepy so I tend to try and avoid such situations and would never use the info for bad, but I'm sure I'm not the only one out there like this so I just assume that anything I say can be used to figure out who I am too :)
Same! Maybe that's partially fueling my paranoia. ;-)
I did a Google image search and found that my DC is in a lot of photos if her name is searched w/o quotes because her aunt has two photo sharing sites that are public. Because my DC shares a last name with her aunt all those pictures come up. I'm asking her aunt to make those private.
You know, I don't quite know why I care -- I think it mostly has to do with wanting our family to have a sense of control over this, yk?
I think it's important to have control over our own children's pictures. I very much dislike when family puts my kids pictures on their FB pages without asking me first. For a long time I had actually tightly controlled what was *in* the pictures as well. And for a long time I kept it so that their facial features were somewhat hidden when posting pictures. I'm a bit more easy going on that, but I edit out names, school info, I try and crop out other kids (with the exception of people who's kids I know well and I know won't mind me posting) or I try and take pictures that don't have other kids. If I post pictures where other kids are in the photo I try and make sure they are mainly just the backs of the kids heads and such.
I also have to think about my kids in the future. When you post things online, it's there forever. I don't want to post about all about my kids in a way that will embarrass them when then are older. I try and really thing about their future presence online and what they would be ok with. Of course this might all change when they decide they hate me at 16 and retaliate and give themselves a horrible web presence. But at least *I* wasn't the one who did it you know?
I tried before and didn't find anything. Or maybe there was but I wasn't going to look through the 200,000 results. Our kids have relatively common names. I find loads of stuff searching for my various usernames, but nothing with my name, my pictures or any private info.
DH and I are cited on the web a lot because of our work. I know there are pictures of DD on-line because a local paper always posts team pictures or events from her school and DD's school also has a public website (we signed a waiver for this purpose). Stuff like this doesn't concern me because information like that would be available with or without the web, What would concern me, however, is finding social media / personal type posting on the web for all to see. I take care on Facebook just to use it is at a resource rather than a confessional.
I know there's video of her out there that we gave permission to be used as a promo for her medieval swordplay collective but they use "battle names" there so it's not attached to her real name.
DD2 shares a name with a radio personality a country away so there's a FirstnameLastnameDotCom for hers that takes up at least the first 7 pages of hits. Kinda funny- the DJ's slogan is "professional smartass", which fits DD2 to a tee.At least she shares a name with a kindred spirit. .
Just did the google searches for all of my crew and nothing comes up for me or the girls at all with or without quotation marks. With quotation marks my husband pops up on his mylife and on intellius. My son pops up with quotation marks in birth story posts I made here in my DDC and birth stories forum and that's all. Without the quotation marks you get nothing that matches full names and all kinds of crazy results that don't go to us with first and last names. We have a very common last name though so that helps.
Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
LOL yep. I do'nt recall the internet crossing my mind at all in baby naming. We do have a fairly common name though so if you search my kids names without middle you do get quite a few hits for other people. I know my married name is pretty obscure since even friends can't find my facebook account because over 500 results pop up. Now my maiden name was another story but it was unique enough that if you had that name you were related to me somehow.
Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
When you search a phrase or name (or whatever) in quotes the search engine will search that exact phrase. In my DC's case by searching her name in quotes, I got little on her but w/o quotes I got every place on the internet that her first name and last name was used. That's relevant because although the use of her full name online is rare, her aunt (who shares her last name) used my DC's first name often on public pictures. Make sense?