How to Manage Your Web Footprint

Web Watch

Every time you apply for a job or try to line up a date on Match, you're going to be Googled. To maintain control of your cyberimage, follow these simple steps, courtesy of Chris Soghoian, expert on cybersecurity at Harvard.

  • BE YOUR OWN WEBSITE. Outwit Google by visiting godaddy.com, and where, for $10, you can make your name a domain, so "yourname.com" will appear at the top of search results. (Don't forget to fill the site with pics of you hanging with George Soros.)

SELL YOURSELF. Buy your name as a Google ad for $5 (you'll also pay about a nickel for every click), and it will pop up whenever someone searches for you. You'll get a report from Google about those cyberstalking you — where they're from, how often they're visiting, and what keywords they're using to find you. SNEAK AROUND. To prevent others from tracking you, sign up for TOR, the free "anonymizing proxy" developed by the U.S. Navy (torproject.org). Combine it with "porn mode," geek-speak for your browser's privacy setting (just search for instructions to set up Incognito on Google Chrome, Stealther on Firefox, Private Browsing on Safari, and InPrivate on Internet Explorer), and it'll be the last traceable search you'll make.JUST ASK. If you hosted a blog you no longer want visible, use Google's Website-removal-request tool (google.com/webmasters) to have it stricken from their cache. No fingerprints.

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