I google myself fairly frequently. While one of my reasons for doing this is high self esteem (ok, I guess we could call it vanity), I also want to keep tabs on my online footprint. It's pretty easy since to my knowledge, I am the only Emily Chornomaz in the english-writing online world. I recently had to get in contact with an old friend from high school - the webmaster of a site where a group of friends posted poetry.
During a selfgoogle, I discovered that one of my poems on this website was pretty risque (in fact, entitled Risque) and send a message for him to remove it. (The poem wondered if certain letters got upset that they were used together to form the mother of all curse words). He was happy to help and I'm glad it won't be available on a live internet search. But let's face it, it's likely still available on internet archive. I think I'm pretty lucky though, if this is the 'worst' of me on the web.
So imagine my surprise when just minutes ago, I found a half-naked picture of myself online. haha! Don't freak out just yet, it's a baby picture my parents submitted to a Ukrainian newsletter. But really, that's a little jarring. Before the internet, I assumed the Ukrainian Weekly had a pretty tiny (but commited) community of readers. With its digitization, any content published is just a google search away from anyone with internet access.
This is obvious, and I know that I've talked about this before...but people! The internet is changing our world in so many ways on so many levels. There are a lot of potential awful information that can become available online incredibly easily. Librarians are such perfect candidates to inform users about these risks and how to attck a problem when it comes about. Does your library offer any internet safety/privacy workshops or materials?