Almost half of U.S. Internet users 'Google' themselves
We're leaving bigger online footprints and want to see where they're going, study finds
Computerworld - As users post more information about themselves on social networking sites and elsewhere, they are also conducting more online searches about themselves, according to a new study. Almost half of all U.S. Internet users (47%) have searched for information about themselves online, up from 22% in 2002, according to a report released yesterday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
This self-searching is a natural outgrowth of the transition into the Web 2.0 era of participatory media, said Mary Madden, a senior research specialist and one of the authors of the study, "Digital Footprints: Online Identity Management and Search in the Age of Transparency."
"Now that more of us are posting things online and in a wider range of places, we're leaving a bigger set of footprints behind us, so it's natural that we would become more curious about what they look like and who might see them," Madden said. "Now there's more out there to find and more tools to find it."
However, users don't monitor their online identities with great regularity, she said. In fact, only 3% of users do that on a regular basis, while 22% search on their names "every once in a while," and 74% have checked up on their online identities only once or twice, according to the report.
Most Internet users aren't even sure what personal information is available online. About 33% say their e-mail addresses, home addresses, phone numbers or the names of their employers are available via the Internet, according to the report's findings.
The results are based on data from telephone interviews with 2,373 U.S. adults 18 and older. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from Nov. 30 to Dec. 30, 2006.
Users who are younger than 50 are more likely to search for information about themselves than users 50 and older, according to the report. Men and women search for information about themselves in equal numbers, Madden said.
However, people who are more educated and make more money than other users are considerably more likely to use a search engine to monitor their online identities, according to the report.
"The more educated people have jobs where they are more likely to post some biographical information on their employers' Web sites, or are required to market themselves online in some way," Madden said. Therefore, they are more likely to track their online identities, she added.
According to the report, 60% of adult online users say they aren't concerned about what information is available about them on the Web, and 61% say they don't find it necessary to limit the amount of personal data available.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more