Who Is G O_o gling You?

Who Is G O_o gling You?

A Story by Anastasia Purvis
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This is a short article I wrote in reference to the power of Google.

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Imagine it’s your first day at a new job. You’re running late and your hair is out of whack. As you run in, you grab your seat and find a note from your boss saying he wants to see you. Chills run down your spine as you enter his office and he politely asks you to shut the door. You shut the door and take a seat directly opposite him. He looks at you, looks back at his computer monitor, and looks at you and back. This goes on for a few minutes until finally, he says, “Sarah, I had no idea you were into that kind of thing” as he turns the monitor toward you revealing a picture of you and your ex from three summers ago posing for a nude art painting in Strasbourg. What’s worse is that this company prides itself on its high morals and great business ethics. Suddenly, your boss says, “We’re going to have to let you go, I’m very sorry.”

How did your boss find these god-awful photos and/or paintings of you? Simple. He “Googled” you.

It’s becoming more and more commonplace to Google someone and find out anything you may or may not want to know about your friends, neighbors or co-workers. Social networks such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are also playing a huge role in finding out anything you want to know about a person. Prospective employers can read everything they want to know and potentially contact your friends and previous co-workers before you even arrive for an interview! As an article in the Wall Street Journal recently stated*, employers are relying more and more on social networks to find out more about a potential candidate than what’s on their application or resume. With resources such as LinkedIn and Jobster, employers are able to pry into your business without interrupting theirs.

 

Unfortunately on average, 50 million times a day, someone is “Googled”**. Any information you may or may not have posted about you could appear on anyone’s computer screen in a matter of mere seconds.  Anything anyone has posted true or untrue could potentially pop up on your future employer's screen. If you have any enemies, God only knows what they could have posted about you on the Internet!

So, the question is, should employers be able to Google prospective/current employees or not? If so, could this be an invasion of privacy?

 

I am a huge believer in the “rule of threes”. If you’ve never heard of this rule, let me explain. The “rule of threes” is simply this: if three completely unrelated resources have the same thing to say about you, then it must be true. Now, although this rule could have its faults, generally, it’s true. I believe that it’s perfectly all right to Google someone and find out information or learn more about a person by using any resources possible, but should this information be used against them or keep the person from employment? I am not so sure.

 

As stated in my earlier example, Sarah had pictures that someone posted on the internet from three years prior to her current position and yet, the employer used them as an excuse to fire her. Countless other people have been sent “Dear John” letters before even getting an interview due to harmful information leaked on the Internet!

“Googling” people on the Internet is becoming commonplace today. Employers can and have used this information to decide on candidates, and countless other people have access to your personal information as well. Although it is definitely an invasion of privacy, Google and other search engines like it aren’t going to go away. Lesson? Be careful what you post on any websites! Your future boss could be watching.

 

*http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119085046508840665.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

 

**http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/15336943/detail.html

 Google logo is the property of Google and its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

© 2017 Anastasia Purvis



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Featured Review

I think people are becoming more aware of the reality that you highlight.

And some of us go the opposite extreme... I don't have a personal facebook account not even for real friends and family. I write under a pen name. I dont use LinkedIN even at work..

Who am I? Do I really exist? Help! I'm invisible

Posted 7 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

The Iron Horseman

6 Months Ago

No, you're not! They can track you by your TCPIP address or your MacID if they are prepared to make .. read more
aj milton

6 Months Ago

OMG - who are "They" ?

Seriously though you are perfectly right, but it is possible t.. read more
The Iron Horseman

6 Months Ago

I agree with you there. That is precisely why I use a pseudonym. I just wanted you to be aware that .. read more



Reviews

Scary but true... It always puzzles me to why people are always sitting in there homes with the blinds down and curtains closed... when the window of your life is IN your living room exposing your every detail......

Posted 6 Months Ago


Good prompt for creating awareness and debate. Personally I thought Iron Horseman's response was brilliant - really insightful and helpful. This is very tricky. I was first made aware of this by the firm I worked for whose concern was that any views I might express should in no way be taken as their views. This is most likely to be a risk on sites like LinkedIn where it's common to say who you work for; so we could have 'senior manager at XYZ supports (say) cross-dressing' or whatever, which might lead to XYZ losing business from folk who disapprove of cross-dressing. Fact is, we are all saying and posting stuff that anyone in the world might see, and to be realistic, it behoves us to take care, whether or not we think this transgresses our own privacy.

Posted 6 Months Ago


(Sarah should also have known it is most ill-advised to "grab your seat" in the workplace.)
A solid, common sense, quite helpful piece that should be part of every internet user's awareness.
Thanks, Anastasia, for the virtual public service.


Posted 6 Months Ago


That's a fact you've just brought to my notice....almost everyone is a spy on earth, but some have good reason(s) behind that.
I hope for more of these enlightening facts.

Posted 6 Months Ago


This is very well done, Anastasia, and currently a hot topic. I work in IT and I can tell you that the industry is very concerned about it. I have friends who have been in the very situation you describe, where they have been refused employment because of what is on their Facebook page. I have others who have even been interviewed by HR types using questions based entirely on information gleaned from their social media pages. That particular issue is actually relatively easy to address. The problem is that most people never take the time to learn how to use the security provisions within their control on the social media account If you set up your security parameters properly those prospective employers will not be able to access your account. But most people don't!

The far wore worrying aspect of this is the ability of others to create completely false information about you. Again, I know people who have been victimised by this. It would, for example, take me about five minutes to create a web page making Anastasia Purvis out to be the devil incarnate, or a porn site purporting to be run by you. You have little or no protection against this kind of thing and because it is so prevalent and regarded by police authorities as more of a nuisance than anything else, you will find it almost possible to get anyone to investigate it.

Last but not least there is the cyber bullying issue. Global, and so far untreatable.

Social media is a very mixed blessing. Controls are hard to implement because the Web is not governed by international boundaries. The only viable solutions are dependent on the software providers and the users. The software providers need to implement more stringent privacy controls and the end user needs to learn how to use them.

And be very careful in screening your friends! Do not allow unknown persons access to your information by accepting them as friends. More problems arise from that issue than from any other single cause.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great article Anastasia. Just went to see 'The Circle", a very good horror flick in my opinion. It illustrates the personal transparency of the new age.
The willingness to give up privacy is frightening.

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Anastasia Purvis

7 Months Ago

How was that movie? I've been wanting to see it.
Ted Kniffen

7 Months Ago

It was far better than I expected
Anastasia Purvis

6 Months Ago

I went to see it. It was eerily similar to how a cult is "cultivated".
twitter,face book,google and type in any name,is the national enquirer

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Yes if we go on like this one day even the minute details in our lives will be exposed to everyone.
Ha ha a out the boss you told about..if he sacked his employer for finding some nude pix on Facebook that would be stupid,I will look for lots more important things about my employees than their personal lives..
But the whole idea is troubling,I don't feel at ease that everyone knows alot about me.....
It's a strange world for sure
Very informative write..ha ha I will be more careful..I already Google myself after reading haha,luckily nothing bad came out..

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Its an informative piece........
Thanks for sharing, Anastasia....

Posted 7 Months Ago


Absolutely true! Thank you for sharing such an excellent piece and also thank you for the links. The message you conveyed was really good :) Keep up the good work😊

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on May 10, 2017
Last Updated on May 10, 2017
Tags: Google, spying, article, research, privacy, life, security, xosassystaceox, sassystace, writer, writing

Author

Anastasia Purvis
Anastasia Purvis

Cincinnati *The Queen City*, OH



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Altruistic Enigmatic Polymath | Writer, Vegetarian, Musician, EMT. I'm an Artist. I paint pictures of the verbal kind. ♕ The Queen City ♛ more..

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