Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Why It's Important to Check Your Name Online

It was already past midnight last night when I went to bed. Bagets tucked me in and turned off the lights already. I usually take one last look on stuff before I turn off my phone's wifi connection (yup I do this every night). Since I blogged I wanted to check if the format of my latest post was okay on my phone. I got lazy to type by blog URL and just typed "aileenapolo" on the search box. As I was scrolling down on the search results one result caught my attention since it seemed to have my contact numbers on it.

It did.



The website rocketreach.co listed my contact info posted without my permission. I immediately searched for a way to remove my profile since they had some really personal information on it. I managed to remove my profile, but it will take time before the search result will be removed. A friend told me that this unscrupulous website mines online data and even emails to get the information. This is just really wrong.

It's been a long time since I last checked my name on Google Search. I realized that I should do it more often to protect my privacy and security. I used to do this often but I didn't give it much thought anymore since I haven't really been active online. Sweetie said to also check https://haveibeenpwned.com/ to know which sites I've been using that have had security breaches. This also means you must change your passwords often.

So lesson learned, always check your name online and make sure you don't put any of your contact info out there. Afaik I don't have any of my contact info published publicly so this website (and other bad websites) have been finding ways to mine private data. Do check your info too.

To also learn how to protect yourself online, do check out Google's "Be Internet Awesome". It has a lot of content on how you can protect yourself online, starting with how to create proper passwords. This content is very useful for families .

Update: Last night when I checked my profile was already removed, but when I clicked on the "Claim Your Profile" link again the website had my name and work title on it again. So I removed it again. Grrrrrr.

PS A few friends have reached out to me and asked how I removed my profile on rocketsearch.co. Here's how:
1. Go to your profile and claim it.
2. You will receive an email, verify it.
3. Click on "remove profile".
*Better to check again 24 hours after since they had put back my name and work title when I re-checked. 

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