Most people may not know this term. Perhaps others are putting it into practice and do not know that it is called that. The fact is that Egosurfing is a practice that all Internet users should do in order to protect and take care of their digital identity.
Egosurfing goes beyond curiosity. Thanks to it, we can know what image we project to the outside world through the online media and, in addition, take care of our online reputation.
What is Egosurfing?
Egosurfing consists of looking up your own name on the Internet. through the search engines in a superficial way, with the goal of knowing everything the Internet says about you on the web (photos, social networks, news, ...).
In fact, it should be a practice that we should occasionally do preventively so that we know what is being said about us, who is saying it and for what purpose.
Reasons why it should be done
- To know the image you project and your digital footprint. Depending on the information that appears about you on the Internet, society will see what kind of person you are and what tastes you have. Your tastes, preferences, what places you visit, weaknesses, etc. So knowing the image you project you will be able to modify what appears about you to what you are interested in transmitting.
- Know if someone is impersonating you. In social networks or on a website and, thus, be able to solve it.
- Finding a job or prospering in the labour market. Knowing the techniques and tools for Egosurfing is not only useful on a personal level, it can also be used to search for information about the job you want or about the competition.
- Have control over the information that is exposed about you on the Internet. Such information could be classified as follows:
- Information that needs to be published. If you register on websites, social networks, if you are looking for a job, etc.
- Irrelevant information that can be dispensed with. Publication is not essential.
- Information that should never be public. For example: ID cards, passwords, your home address, etc.
How to do Egosurfing?
Here we explain how to do it with different tools:
- Google Alerts A service provided by Google whose function is to monitor content. It notifies the email about the topics that interest us. In this case, you must provide the tool with the personal data you want to monitor.
- Google search engine This is the option most people use. All you have to do is type what you want to find in the search bar. Add that you can also search for photos in Google images.
- Social networking. If the privacy of the profiles is not well configured, all the information published in them will be exposed to third parties and can be used maliciously.
In order to successfully Egosurfing on social networks, you must enter your full name, username or email address.
What to do if we find information that we do not want to be published on the Internet
When searching, we can find information that may be harmful to us or photos or videos that we do not want to be published on the network. To remove this information, different tools can be used depending on the characteristics of the information (where and how it appears) as well as the seriousness of the publication. To do this, we will have to act in one way or another:
- Configure privacy settings on social networks.
- If a fake profile is found, it should be reported to the relevant social network so that it can be removed as soon as possible.
- Finally, exercising the right to be forgotten. If the data or images have been published by third parties and negatively affect the digital identity and reputation of the data subject.