May 26, 2010

Reputation management and social media: Our digital footprints

As in 2006, we asked a battery of questions about the different kinds of personal information that may be available about the respondent online. The introduction to the question reads: “We’d like to know if any of the following information about you is available on the internet for others to see—it doesn’t matter if you posted it yourself or someone else posted it.” Respondents were also given the option to say that they did not know whether a given piece of information was available, and for many questions, respondents expressed a high level of uncertainty. While the affirmative answers paint a portrait of the user’s impression of what is available, they likely do not reflect the full extent to which these pieces of information could be uncovered by a motivated searcher. In addition, some of these items could be available publicly while others may be posted to a restricted profile or website. Read more »