The article, “Students Dig Up Dirt” by Jesse Morehouse is both enlightening and unsettling. In the article, Morehouse discusses how easy it is for detailed information to be found about almost anyone on the internet. He emphasizes it with a striking quote, “87% of Americans can be positively identified from their zip codes, dates of birth, and genders.” (Morehouse 34) This statistic surprised me at first, just as the rest of the article did, but then it made me think and do a little testing of my own.
I searched my own name on Google to see what would come up. The first search result was not me but a reporter in
. In fact, I gave up trying to find any information on me after going through 15 pages. I was comforted by this until I modified the search and add my middle initial. The first result had my parent’s names, city that I lived in, and relative age (some were off by a few years). I also searched an old friend from high school and came up with her full current address, when she bought her house, and the purchase price. The information was posted by the city that she now lives in. Chicago
The article, in addition to my own experiment, made me that much more aware of how much personal information is out there and how one wrong posting on Facebook or tweet can adversely affect me or anyone else. Students especially need to be aware of how much information they make available on the internet. Too many predators will seek the opportunity to prey on those that choose not to be careful with the amount of information they share. There is also that fact that future employers, teachers, and universities could easily find any information and possibly use that against them.
Morehouse, J. (2011, September/October). Students Dig Up Dirt to Learn about Internet Safety. Learning and Leading with Technology, pg. 34-35. Retrieved September 16, 2011 from http://www.iste.org/Libraries/Leading_and_Learning_Docs/september-2011-learning-connections.sflb.ashx