Friday, 15 August 2008

Interweb paranoia

I just Googled myself. Don't ask me why - I don't know myself - it was a random impulse in between work email answering. My LinkedIn profile came up at the top, which I wasn't desperately pleased to see but I'm sure I can fix that (in fact I just have, now). Then there was an old BBC article from when I was still working at Virgin very early on, when I commented about the launch of Napster into the UK. Get me, media pundit. Most alarmingly I saw my Facebook public profile appear at number 3. Now, I *know* I've blocked this from appearing to the world and coming up on Google so I was more than a bit shocked to see this. So I clicked through, and it appears I have a namesake in London, whose profile is public and thus searchable by Google. Thankfully mine is not. Actually I have 3 namesakes, as there's another one who has no friends and no profile, and a third one in Ontario.

It's kind of comforting to know I can control what information I put out there about myself on the internet, especially after a couple of weeks where my Yahoo email account has been hacked *twice* and some bloody spammer bastard has got into my account, mailed all my contacts with rubbish about some random electronics website and then deleted the sent messages so I had no idea what was going on until a few friends politely emailed me, assuming I would like to know what 'I' had sent them. Yahoo themselves were completely crap, stubbornly asserting that I had been the recipient of spam not unknowingly mailed it out, so I've given up contacting them and just changed my password instead. If it happens again I'll be going to gmail.

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