Sunday, October 9, 2011

Want to know what personal information is shared with Google (and the public)? Try Google Dashboard

The Google Dashboard is a systematic way for you to know exactly what information Google has for your account, especially if you use a number of Google products (such as, in my case, GMail, Docs, Sites, YouTube, Maps. It is also a handy tool to see which details are private, and which are public.

The video below effectively describes what the Dashboard is all about and how to access it.

Here's a tool that will come handy when you want to know what people see when they search for you on Google.  It's called Me on the Web, and it's available within the Dashboard.  You can set up an Alert when your personal detail - email address or phone number, for instance - gets published online.

To create Alerts:

  1. Sign in to your Google Dashboard. 
  2. In the 'Me on the Web' section, click Set up search alerts for your data. Select the checkboxes beside the alerts (such as your name or email address) you'd like to receive.
    - (Optional) Enter additional information (such as a home address) in the text field, then select the checkbox for that alert.
    - (Optional) Click Add another alert to create alerts for additional personal information. 
  3. In the 'How often' drop-down box, choose the alert frequency. 
  4. In the 'Deliver to' drop-down box, choose which email address your alerts should be sent to. 
  5. Click Save alert preferences.
You can learn more about Me on the Web at this Google Accounts Help page.

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