ProZ.com pages indexed by Google - worried about disclosure of personal info
Thread poster: Sheilann
Sheilann  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to English
Aug 13, 2004

This afternoon, having nothing better to do, I keyed my name into Google just to see what would come up. I was surprised to find two hits directly from ProZ.com. One was my profile page and the other, believe it or not, was a peer resonse I once gave. I hadn't even posted the question or suggested an answer.
I have no doubts as to the integrity of members, but I would like to find sme explanation for this. How did this get posted?
Have any other Prozians experienced the same?
What worries me is disclosure of my personal information.
Please go to Google, key in your name and see how many hits there are for you with a Proz address. I have entered the names of a few colleagues and they are also included, either as peers, profiles, or even glossaries. There must be a fault somewhere.
Look forward to any replies.


[Edited at 2004-08-13 19:17]


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-08-13 22:46]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-08-13 22:54]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 07:59
SITE FOUNDER
Google indexes everything it can (and caches it, to boot) Aug 13, 2004

This is really an Internet issue, not a ProZ.com issue. The pages were not submitted explicitly; google's spiders try to index everything they can at this and most other busy sites (and they are pretty aggressive about it.)

That is not all. Google will cache pages so that even if they are removed from ProZ.com, a copy is kept for some time on Google's servers.

If you do not want your name to come up in Google searches, I recommend you indicate in your profile page a preference for showing your username throughout the site rather than your real name. It will instantly be changed everywhere that your name now appears throughout ProZ.com. (Google's cache will not respond so quickly, of course.)

If privacy is a concern, you will also want to be careful using your full name elsewhere on the Internet. Google is just one of many search engines that seeks to crawl the whole web. With caching, it is a safe bet that anything you do online under your full name will be accessible to your great-great grandchildren.

Have a nice weekend!


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:59
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
That's Internet Aug 13, 2004

Hi Sheila

Now I'm used to it, but I remember how surprised I was when I discovered what you mention.

In fact you must bear in mind that whatever you write in any page of Internet is going to be kept somewhere. Some pages have keywords and these keywords will allow to find the information later.

Our ProZ.com profile is supposed to serve us to find jobs, so the information should be readable by as many people as possible.
I remember when I discovered that information from my resume (available via my profile) was foundable in Google, particularly my address and how many kids I have. I felt like you do. I took off my resume until I understood and accepted that it would work that way, and I made some changes to the resume.

Another bad surprise was when I discovered messages that I had sent to a yahoogroup. I had imagined that those messages were just for the members of the group, but the owner had chosen to make them public. I quit the group.

It's not a bug, it's how it works. I can't explain the technical reasons, but you'd better know all this.

Claudia


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smarinella  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:59
Member (2004)
German to Italian
+ ...
the same happened to me!!! Aug 13, 2004

After reading it in the forum, I did the same: I put my nickname "smarinella" in www.google.it and ... I was there! Then I put the nickname of another colleague "verbis" and...she was there too!!!

I was immediately thinking: what a fortune that I registered myself with a nickname!!

Waiting for other comments on the subject

smarinella


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Selçuk Budak  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:59
English to Turkish
+ ...
Besides its vices, it has its own virtues too Aug 14, 2004

Anyway, we are here to find jobs by promoting ourselves with profile pages. Often, people seek freelance translators through search engines by entering certain criteria. Eg.: "English French translation accounting." With such criteria, search engine tries to find those translators who do English-French translation and are expert in accounting. So if you fulfill such criteria, and the seeker happens to visit your page, your chance of being contacted increases.

More than once I had received direct mails from clients who reached my profile page through google search.

So, instead of afraiding of it, I enjoy it and try to find ways to maximize that enjoyment!


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:59
German to Italian
+ ...
my 2 cents Aug 14, 2004

Selçuk Budak wrote:

More than once I had received direct mails from clients who reached my profile page through google search.

So, instead of afraiding of it, I enjoy it and try to find ways to maximize that enjoyment!



This happened to me as well, I was contacted by potential clients who saw my profile searching with google (keywords, not my name). I don't find it surprising at all: now and then I search my name in google and find it hundreds of times (eg. right now 960 times altogether, 157 times excluding proz - ok, in just a few cases it's not me). But this is the Internet, and probably the only thing you can do is avoiding to use your real name in the net unless it's really necessary. We'd better know that search engines watch us every day.


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Sheilann  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone Aug 15, 2004

Thanks a lot for your replies. The fact that it's an everyday occurrence doesn't do a great deal to set my mind at ease though. It can be a source of business, but I prefer to advertise where I choose.
At the same time, it corroborates what I've always said about Google. Google is not gospel and if a number of hits are "sponged" from other sites, not everything can be taken seriously. That's why I tend to shy away from "XXX hits on Google", so often used to support an answer. Obviously, it would be an impossible task to verify everything that's posted there and it's therefore up to cybernauts to use their discretion. But as it stands, it seems to be bottomless garbage can.
I could probably ramble on for hours about more regulation being needed, but that's another topic.
I'll take your advice about changing to my username.
Thanks again.
The person to be known hereafter as Sheilann.


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