News In Brief

Report: Most of us have Googled ourselves

Daryl Paranada May 28, 2010

Admit it, you’ve Googled yourself.

More than half of adult Internet users say they’ve used a search engine to look up their name and assess what info about them was online, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center titled “Reputation Management and Social Media.” The study finds that 57% of adult Internet users looked up their name, compared to just 47% in 2006.

Unsurprisingly, young adults are more likely to restrict what they share and whom they share it with compared to older users. The report finds that young adults are the most active online reputation managers – 71% of social network users between the ages of 18 and 29 have changed their privacy settings to limit what others can see and what they share online.

From the report:

“Search engines and social media sites now play a central role in building one’s identity online,” said Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and lead author of the report, “Many users are learning and refining their approach as they go — changing privacy settings on profiles, customizing who can see certain updates and deleting unwanted information about them that appears online.”

Young adults concerned about privacy have certainly been vocal about Facebook’s recent changes. Read our interview with Slate’s Farhad Manjoo about whether Facebook’s new privacy settings will work.

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