ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Protect Your Identity Online - Who is searching for you?

Updated on September 27, 2009

It is likely that when you apply for a job, make friends online, or even post for an online dating service that you will be researched. Employers may just Google your name to find any interesting information. Online dating is so common and an easy way to find out more about a person you don’t know very well is to do online research. While most of us probably have nothing to hide, we still need to take an interest in protecting our identity and privacy. I have listed a few ways to protect yourself online.

Step 1: Research Yourself

Go ahead and see what you can find out about yourself. Google your name (or even in combination with your city/high school/college/employer) to see what information exists out there. Search images, too. Someone may have you tagged in a photo online. Is the information you have found positive, negative, neither? Do you find your phone number, address, and other personal information? If so, follow the next few steps to ensure your privacy.

Step 2: Manage Your Privacy Settings

Log on to any personal profiles you have online (Facebook, My Space, Twitter, Linked In, etc.) and make sure your privacy settings include public search. Limit your profile to the individuals you choose. Also set the privacy settings for your photos and friend lists. Inform your friends of your interest in personal privacy and kindly ask that they keep posted images of you professional and not to tag your name if you don’t want them to. Some information may not be private, such as employer listings and government records that you do not have control over.

Step 3: Become Unlisted

You can have your phone number and address unlisted through your phone service provider for a small fee. Online, you can have your phone number and address unlisted at Google’s site. What you have to do is Google your name and city to find a phone listing for yourself. These will appear at the top left. You can choose to have your information removed from Google phone books and I have illustrated the steps below.

Remove Yourself from Google Phone Book

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Search for your name on Google, include your city to narrow results.Click results to see listings, link will be available to remove yourself.List your contact info and Google will remove you in a week or less.
Search for your name on Google, include your city to narrow results.
Search for your name on Google, include your city to narrow results.
Click results to see listings, link will be available to remove yourself.
Click results to see listings, link will be available to remove yourself.
List your contact info and Google will remove you in a week or less.
List your contact info and Google will remove you in a week or less.

Step 4: Build Your Online Identity.

Do you want to see who is searching for your or build your own positive online identity? and are great sites to have a personal public profile with the information you want people to see. At you can actually build a profile online and get e-mail alerts when it is visited. This alert will even tell you what area of the globe the search came from. You can build a profile to advertise yourself professionally or to just keep up on who is searching for you online. If you operate a website, write an "about me" section with the information you want people to know.

Step 5: Passwords and e-mail

If you use sites like or, use an e-mail address that does not include your name. Although sites like Craig's List use auto-generated e-mail names for the first time you contact another person online, your personal e-mail will be reflected in subsequent contacts. Even if you are just selling something, keeping your information private is necessary. Don't include your address or phone number on a posting. Use different passwords for different accounts, and even different user names. It may be difficult to remember but is worth the extra step. Only use e-mails with your first and last name for contact with close family and friends and job applications.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)