WebsiteCompass 17 further. So pay extra attention to the first impression that people will have when they Google you. However, don’t stop there. Also go through pages 2-5 of your search results to get a fuller picture. Be sure to click through the top links that are returned to see where they actually take you. Some sites, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, may appear in the Google results, but clicking through will take you to a page that’s restricted by privacy settings. To make sure searchers — such as potential employers — can contact you, you may want to change your privacy settings. Email Addresses and Usernames The next phase of Googling yourself is to search for your past and current email addresses and phone numbers. This helps you see which sites have access to this personal data and will also show you what others can find if they Google you. Have you ever signed up for a discussion board or forum with your personal email address? If so, your post history could easily show up if someone Googles you. The same can be said for social media pages and blogs. Find and make note of any posts or content that you’d prefer to make private. Next, run a search for your social media account usernames, which in some cases will be different than your actual name. Try searching for your name (as an exact phrase in quotation marks) plus the social network you want to look up. This might reveal accounts you forgot about or that are less private than you think. Don’t Forget Other Search Engines While Google is by far the dominant search engine, it’s not the only one out there. Occasionally Bing and Yahoo! yourself to monitor what’s being said about you on those less-used but still significant platforms. Set up a Google Alert for Your Name There’s an easy way to stay on top of information that pops up about you on social media or elsewhere online—set up a free Google Alert for your name. If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to create one before starting these steps: 1. Visit Google.com/alerts and type what you want Google to alert you about in the search bar. 2. B elow the keyword box is a small link that says “Show options.” Click on it. Here you can choose: • How often you want to be notified. • What specific sources you want Google to track. (Choose “automatic” if you’re not sure.) • Your preferred language. • The specific region you want to monitor. • How many alerts you want. (We recommend choosing “Only the best results.”) • The email address to which you’d like your alerts sent. 3. Click Create Alert to start receiving alerts on yourself or other search topics you’re interested in. This is a great way to be alerted when news about you appears, whether you want to share it on your social channels or respond to it rapidly. But Google Alerts can’t replace a full Google search, so you’ll want to continue doing that periodically as well.