Monday, March 26, 2012

Protect Your Internet Profile

"With a 'sneaky' smile, Claire said to me this morning while I was working with her during reading; "Ms. B, I Googled you this morning." Not that I have anything on the internet that I need to hide, a sense of panic quickly arose in my mind. "What on earth did she see!" I thought. Trying to play it cool, I looked at her and said; "and what did you find?" She began to smile again and explained to me that she found pictures of me playing field hockey and with "pigtails" in my hair. Right when I got home, I opened my computer and proceeded to “Google” myself. Feeling a sense of relief, I found nothing on Google about me accept field hockey pictures and a link to my secured Twitter".  This is how one of my students teacher's journal entries began from last week.

This is such a wonderfully eloquent and authentic account of what it is like to hear someone say they have Googled you. As a future teacher it is so important for Education majors to take care of their Internet Profiles. This is probably true of everyone seeking employment but probably not more so than those wishing to work with children. At one time one had to be careful because future employers and parents could Google you. Now, the level of technological sophistication of young children is so advanced that even third graders have both the skills and disposition to Google someone they find interesting or significant in their lives.  The message I send to all my students is never to put anything on the Internet that could embarrass you or show you in anything but a favorable light.

There are those who would say that what they do in their private life is their own business but once you put it on the web for others to find it no longer exists in your private life. If you don't want the world to know about it protect it with a password or privacy wall of some sort. But even then it may not be completely out of sight.  

Now, let me go and Google myself just to make sure.

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