Online Identity Self-Assessment

Based on our in-class discussions this semester, I think it's safe to say that all of us, to one extent or another, are living our lives online. Before we discuss this issue in class on Thursday, I'd like you to take a few minutes and complete the following tasks and answer the related questions:

1. Google yourself. If you have a common name, Google your name AND your home town (e.g., "Quinn Warnick Ames Iowa"). How many "good" results does this Google search return? In other words, how many of the results are actually about you?

2. Try to find your address and phone number using Google or an online telephone directory. Are you listed?

3. Go to Facebook; if you're logged in as yourself, log out. Then search for yourself. If you have a profile, is it listed? Next, login to the site using a friend's or roommate's account (get their permission to do this) and search for yourself again. How much information about yourself is available to other Iowa State students?

4. Go to MySpace and repeat the steps under question #3. How much information about yourself is available on MySpace?

5. How comfortable are you with the amount of personal information that's available to others on the Internet?