Half of us have Googled ourselvesSome 47 percent of internet users have searched for their own name online, but few regularly monitor their online presence - even as 53 percent of internet users say they have searched for info about personal and business contacts, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project report, MarketingChart writes. In 2002, just 22 percent of internet users had searched online for their own name, but since then the explosion of blogs, YouTube, Flickr, and online social-network profiles have increased the size of people's "digital footprints," Pew said. The report, "Digital Footprints: Online identity management and search in the age of transparency" (pdf) is based on a Dec. 2006 national telephone survey of 2,373 adults, of whom 1,623 are internet users. Teens are more likely to cover their online tracks - for example, among those who use social-networking sites, a higher percentage of teens than adults restrict access to their profiles. Most internet users are unconcerned about the extent of the data available about them online:
- 60 percent of internet users say they are not worried about how much information is available about them online.
- 38 percent of internet users say they have taken steps to limit the amount of online information that is available about them.
- Roughly one-third of internet users say the following pieces of information are available online: their email address, home address, home phone number or their employer.
- One-fourth of internet users say a photo, names of groups they belong to, or things they have written that have their name on it appear online.
- Few internet users say their political affiliation, cell phone number, or video appear online.
- 72 percent of people searchers have sought contact information online.
- 37 percent of people searchers look to the web for information about someone's professional accomplishments or interests.
- 33 percent of people searchers have sought out someone's profile on a social and professional networking site.
- 31 percent have searched for someone's photo.
- 31 percent have searched for someone else's public records, such as real estate transactions, divorce proceedings, bankruptcies or other legal actions.
- 28 percent have searched for someone's personal background information.
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