Have you ever Googled yourself? It’s a question almost everyone has acted upon at one time or another, and it’s a smart thing for anyone to do who is at least remotely concerned with their personal information and reputation. There’s a lot that can be revealed through a Google search and several other ways to dig a little deeper.
Searching Yourself on Google
Sure, it’s easy to simply type your name into the Google search bar. What many people don’t realize, though, is that typing in different terms related to your name or other things related to you will turn up other results. Try a search with your full name, or include a middle initial, or your name with a birthdate. You might also try searching under current and former nicknames, and even search your email address and those you’ve had in the past.
You can also set up a Google alert for key terms related to your name. Google will notify you with emails showing new search results according to whatever parameters you’ve set up. But, if you really want to know what information there is about you on the World Wide Web, you’ll really have to take your search a step further.
Online Background Checks
Using an online background check service is one way to find out what’s out on the Web as far as your personal information goes, and it’s highly recommended since identity theft is a big problem these days. You really have no idea what’s on your record until you check it yourself, and a background check service like CheckThem.com can find out all that relevant information for you.
CheckThem culls police and court records from agencies all across the country. You’ll find any court history, marriage and divorce details, traffic and criminal history, and property records pertaining to yourself, or anyone else you might be curious about.
Background checking yourself is a smart thing to do since public record errors are not uncommon. Misspellings or a wrong birthdate can create all sorts of problems. And you never know if someone could be up to all sorts of mischief using your identity.
Find Your Social Media Activity Online
Everybody’s always curious about how much their social media activity is gaining traction. This is most obviously apparent with the number of likes your post has earned and the comments you’re getting. You also get a good idea if, for instance, you’re getting a lot of friend requests on Facebook, or more people are following you on Twitter or Instagram.
These days, there is a boatload of social media monitoring tools that can show you the general reception and impact of your social media posts. TweetReach, for example, measures the extent of your tweets and who are your most influential followers. It will tell you exactly how many accounts your tweets have reached and the rate of re-tweets.
Buzzsumo measures the metrics of each of your Facebook posts, right down to a percentage of your contacts who are receiving your posts and a ratio of positive reactions.
Hootsuite covers multiple social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare, and Google+. Klout is a different social media monitoring tool that helps you adjusts your posts to particular interests and boost your engagement rate.
Find Your Work History Online
Like anything else, the ease and accessibility of online resources can help you reconstruct your work history. A direct way to go about this is to contact the Social Security Administration. The SSA website can give you access to obtain your Social Security Work History that provides you with periods of employment or self-employment and the names and addresses of employers.
Unfortunately, as far as going about a search online, there are no national employment history databases or free services that will tell you where you’ve worked in the past decade or longer. But, you can use a third-party service, like CheckThem.com, that will do it for you. Any HR person will have records that show when you worked, who your manager or supervisor was, what you were paid, and so forth.
As in anything else dealing with your personal records, just plan on putting in a little work and due diligence, or pay somebody to do it for you quickly. There’s also a number of ways you can find out where someone else works.
Find the Meaning of Your Name Online
Did you know the name Mila became a top name for baby girls when Mila Kunis started appearing in hit movies around 2010? Did you know the name Harold means you are unique and inspired? The wonders of finding such trivialities online — there are plenty of resources to go where you can see what inspired your namesake.
Names.org is an easy one. You just put in your name and search. The interesting thing about that website is it goes beyond explaining the meaning and origin of a name and shows you a wealth of statistics. Christina, for example, is the 65th most popular girl name in the U.S., and ranks 41st in classic girl names. According to Names.org, there have been 477,000 girls born in the U.S. given the name Christina since 1880.
There are other sites that help you have a little fun with your name and try to hint at what it says about you. According to the website Vonvon, if you plug in the name Lorin, it says you constantly dream about a better world, you are not afraid to face conflicts, and you never tolerate injustice. Our names directory will help you find the history and heritage associated with different names and surnames.
Learn about Your Ancestry Online
Geneology has become a growing hobby, and now there are plenty of websites that will help you climb your family tree as long as you care to. Ancestry.com is the world’s biggest collection of genealogy databases, somewhere around 31,000 of them, with more than 9 billion historical records.
It doesn’t do any of the research for you, but merely gives you the information for you to figure out your roots by your own means. It provides things like census data and other public records that you could otherwise obtain from a library or other public records office.
Ancestry.com gives you a two-week free trial, then charges $146 for a full year of access. It’s a hobby for many and can take hours and hours to even get started. Genealogy.com is a similar service.
Ancestry DNA is a newer service that helps you trace your family tree hundreds of years deep, and involves providing them with a DNA sample from a local lab. It says it can look up to a thousand years deep into your family’s past, and show you your ethnic origins and where your ancestors likely came from.