TIME Web

See Every Single Device Connected to the Internet

Internet Map
A map showing every device connected to the Internet. John Matherly /@achillean

Bright spots and blackouts trace wide disparities in global connectivity

A map of every device connected to the Internet shows the wealthiest parts of the world flush with connections, while poor and sparsely populated parts of the world are blacked out — as well as a few head scratchers in between.

The map was created by John Matherly, founder of Shodan, a search engine that probes the Internet’s backend for connections to all sorts of devices from routers to refrigerators. Matherly said it took about five hours to ping every IP address on the Internet and store every positive response. It took another 12 hours to plot the responses on a heat map which glows bright orange in densely connected areas and blue and black in sparsely connected areas.

The U.S. and Western Europe are, not surprisingly, awash in connectivity. Africa and central Asia have islands of connectivity centered on urban areas. Then there are head-scratchers like Greenland, which has a single isolated dot smack in the island’s center. A Reddit user speculated it was an NOAA observatory on the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

“Oh my f***ing God!! You’re the guy!!!,” wrote another Reddit commentator, ForceBlade, who detected a mysterious ping request around the time of Matherly’s project. “You touched my heart, and my server.”

TIME How-To

Manage What Happens to Your Online Accounts After You Die

computer keys
Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Consider the size of your online presence—your Facebook account, which details your daily life and personal history; your email account, which contains a wealth of your personal and business communications; photos, music and documents you have stored in the cloud; online banking accounts and records; frequent flier miles and more.

What happens to all this stuff when you die?

Will heirs be able to access your accounts to manage your affairs or do you want to prevent them from snooping around in virtual territory you want kept private? Will your accounts simply evaporate over time or will your Facebook page still be up long after you’re gone?

While some people don’t care, others find the idea of their digital assets outliving them disconcerting. Creating a digital will helps you determine which accounts survive and which you take to your grave.

How to Create a Digital Will

The U.S. government wrote a blog post about this very topic and suggested that people create social media wills that spell out how their online identities are to be handled after death. To do it, you should:

  1. Appoint someone as an online executor. Because you’ll be leaving this person with the keys to your digital kingdom, this person should be someone who is willing to put in the time and effort to close or memorialize your accounts, capable of protecting your sensitive information from identity thieves or snoopers, tech-savvy enough to be able to make changes to your accounts and trustworthy to carry out your wishes.
  2. State in a formal document how you want your profiles and accounts to be handled. For example, do you want your email account deleted without anyone reading your messages? Do you want your Facebook account deactivated or would you rather have your Timeline memorialized (meaning only friends can see your page and leave posts in remembrance)?
  3. Understand the privacy policies of each website with which you’re associated. You should know that unless you leave your online executor your passwords, there might not be much he or she can do. Google, for example, won’t let anyone into your email account without that person putting forth an application and undergoing a formal and lengthy process and, even then, he or she might not get in. Same goes with Facebook.
  4. Provide your online executor a list of all the websites and login credentials for which you want he or she to take action. If someone makes changes to your account by pretending to be you it may violate a website’s terms of service, but legally your designation of an online executor is akin to granting a limited power of attorney.
  5. State in your will that the online executor should have a copy of your death certificate. This may help him or her take action on your behalf with various websites and accounts.

Working With Your Lawyer On a Digital Will

Julie Min Chayet, managing director and trust counsel for Fiduciary Trust Company International in New York City, says the idea of a digital will hasn’t become mainstream. However, clients do ask attorneys to include all sorts of requests in their Last Will and Testament, so requesting that someone clean up a digital footprint online is perfectly acceptable and recommended.

Chayet says the executor named in your Last Will and Testament has to settle all matters relating to one’s life—financial or otherwise—and you can specify that this person also should handle your online accounts.

“From a legal standpoint, the responsibilities of a court appointed executor or administrator include shutting down digital assets and accounts. It’s just important to be clear about what needs to be done with information and for the not-too-tech-savvy executor it is important to be explicit about next steps,” she says.

For example, you could leave a written statement to be posted on your Facebook account.

“It’s comparable to someone planning his or her own funeral down to every last detail of choosing the burial site, the music to be played, clothing to be worn, flowers displayed, poems or readings to be read and food to be served,” Chayet says. “Settling an estate is incredibly stressful and emotional. Being prepared will only help your loved ones in every aspect of their mourning.”

Websites That Can Help

While you can certainly keep your digital asset information on paper to be handed over to your online executor once you die, the reality is passwords frequently change and keeping an up-to-date paper list can be a pain. Instead, many password management websites offer features that will turn your digital assets over to others at the appropriate time.

Password Box’s Legacy Locker feature lets you identify your online assets and login credentials as well as “verifiers”—people you trust to handle your online accounts after your death. Once you have passed away, your verifiers must contact Password Box, confirm their identities and the website transfers your account information to them as well as any letters you may have left at the site for family, friends or colleagues.

Price: The first 25 saved passwords are free. Additional password slots can be purchased for $12/year.

SecureSafe is similar to Legacy Locker, but adds various amounts of file storage along with password management and transfer to beneficiaries.

Price: Several pricing and storage tiers are available, starting with a free account that gives you 50 password slots and 10 megabyes of storage.

This article was written by Christina DesMarais and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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TIME Web

Google Images Hacked? Searches Bring Up Images of Russian Car Accident

Google hasn't yet commented on the strange thing happening to its image search function

Updated 2:14 p.m.

People searching Google Images Tuesday morning noticed an apparent glitch in the system: Innocuous searches were resulting in repeated images of a car accident, alongside intermittent pictures of NBA star Kevin Durant.

Here’s what happened as of 9 a.m. when we Googled the word “puppy”:

Google

Numerous social media reports claim that the issue was ongoing for hours:

A Google spokesperson said Tuesday afternoon the issue had been fixed, but did not clarify the root of the problem.

Concerned searchers on Google’s own support forums traced the jarring image of the car accident to a Ukrainian news site reporting on a deadly crash that took the lives of three people (warning: the site features some grislier images of the wreck).

Some users on a related Reddit chain say that images of Kevin Durant have also been thrown in the mix. Canadian Redditor Acrantrad posted the following image that appears after unrelated Google Image searches.

People on Google’s product forum claim that South America has been impacted, as well.

 

TIME Google

YouTube Videos Playing Automatically? Sit Tight

Well, that's annoying.

All the livelong day, YouTube videos have been autoplaying in my web browser (I’m using Google Chrome). I just opened 19 tabs at once, and my computer basically threatened to walk off the job. My other browsers aren’t affected, so this appears to be a Chrome-YouTube joint.

A fix is coming. It’s apparently a problem on YouTube’s end, and the team is aware of it. Check out this Google thread for updates.

[Android Police]

TIME Social Media

Facebook Could Start Labeling Satirical Posts So You Don’t Think They’re Real

Apple IPads Sales Down
An Apple iPad displays its home screen on August 6, 2014 in London. Peter Macdiarmid—Getty Images

The confusion is more common than you might expect

Facebook is running what it calls a “small test,” tagging posts from satire outlets like the Onion so that users understand that the content isn’t real.

MarketWatch reports that the social-media platform is running beta tests on some users’ News Feeds, having “received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others,” in the words of a Facebook spokeswoman.

Facebook would not elaborate on the experiments, MarketWatch said.

The confusion is more common than one might expect: there are entire blogs devoted to documenting the dismay of Facebook users who have learned the “news” that Barack Obama has run over Jimmy Carter with his car, or that the Harry Potter series fostered a new wave of Satanism among the America’s elementary school students.

Nor is it limited to Facebook. When the Onion named Kim Jong Un the “sexiest man alive” in 2012, the story was picked up by the People’s Daily — the flagship publication of the Chinese Communist Party, which received the news with unsmiling gravity.

[MarketWatch]

TIME Innovation

On the Internet, What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

How the myth of connectivity hurts us all

bif10-600-sq-info

This is the second of a 10-article series of conversations with transformational leaders who will be storytellers at theBIF10 Collaborative Innovation Summit in Providence, RI, on Sept. 17-18.

Ethan Zuckerman’s job is to see the Internet for what it is.

As the director of the MIT Center for Civic Media and the author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection, Zuckerman studies civic engagement within digital infrastructures. He has made the case that we are not as connected as we appear to be.

Zuckerman’s research explodes what he calls the “myth of connectivity.” As he claims, “The world is more global. Our problems and economics are global. And though we are inundated with content, the media is getting less global.”

He believes it is important to expose and rectify this fallacy; after all, “this leads not only to shocking ignorance about the world, but also to missed opportunities for marketing and collaboration.”

As it turns out, Zuckerman says, “What you don’t know can hurt you.”

+++

“Atoms are more accessible than bits in many occasions,” Zuckerman says. “Fijian water is easy to access, but Fijian culture is not.”

He attributes the myth of connectivity to a lack of demand rather than too much supply. With the explosion of personal publishing and the “read-write web,” the issue isn’t so much the lack of stories told from other parts of the world, but rather, that these stories have been filtered out by the American attention span.

One of the problems of “free market journalism,” Zuckerman says, is that it relies on user behavior to recommend content. This filtering mechanism is deeply susceptible to what he calls “homophily.” Meaning “love of the same,” the concept is also known by the truism “birds of a feather flock together.”

Homophily explains the tendency of news coverage to cater to the lowest common denominator, or, speaking within the realms of Zuckerman’s research, of the disappearance of international or investigative reporting.

“What we need are new systems to help us stumble over things, to jog us out of ordinary reality,” Zuckerman says.

Zuckerman claims the key to integrating international or hard-hitting perspectives into domestic discourse is to provide relevant context. Fundamentally, he says, “What’s most important to you, is ‘you’ and ‘yours.’ If we’re not giving people some way in which they can interact with content, we’ll be missing giant opportunities.”

He forecasts that content recommendations of the future will be able to determine an audience’s interest and the “information rut” that they’re stuck in, before bridging that gap by suggesting novel, yet unexpectedly useful content. For instance, “following your interest in US mobile phones, you might find yourself reading about Chinese phone technologies, or about how much disposable income the mobile market captures in East Africa,” he explains.

+++

“I was never in love with the narrative of the Internet startup,” Zuckerman says.

“Dot com” entrepreneurism did not excite him as much as the question of the Internet’s potential to transform the world.

Yet, for all his reluctance to view enterprises as one-stop fix-its for society’s ills, Zuckerman looks forward to returning to speak at the Collaborative Innovation Summit hosted annually by the nonprofit Business Innovation Factory (BIF) in Providence, RI.

At the Summit, Zuckerman intends engage the BIF community — which he knows to be composed of unconventional tinkerers and seasoned social entrepreneurs — with a critical question he has been wrestling with: how to innovate journalism.

The BIF Summit has been a site of meaningful connections for Zuckerman in the past. He recalls meeting his MIT colleague Neri Oxman there, and marveling, from her talk about her first encounter with snow, Oxman’s intuitive thought process as a materials scientist.

“What I value so much about BIF is this notion that you’re not there to give a presentation, but to tell a story,” Zuckerman says, “With stories, the interesting motivations are never completely rational. That irrationality, that underlying passion, is to me what’s fascinating about anybody who’s trying to change the world.”

He believes that in BIF’s passionate community, he will find a receptive audience. “Storytelling is hugely underrated as a form of human communication,” he says, “It’s really hard to make money while doing good, investigative journalism, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.”

“Ultimately, I think we need to be having a deeper conversation about what public goods we should be willing to pay for, that the market isn’t good at provisioning,” Zuckerman says. He recognizes, “Those tend to be fighting words in the United States, but I think this notion of having really high-quality information is something that we’re not talking seriously enough about.”

The BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit combines 30 brilliant storytellers with more than 400 innovation junkies in a two-day storytelling jam, featuring tales of personal discovery and transformation that spark real connection and “random collisions of unusual suspects.”

Saul Kaplan is the author of The Business Model Innovation Factory. He is the founder and chief catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) in Providence and blogs regularly at It’s Saul Connected. Follow him on Twitter at @skap5. Nicha Ratana is a senior pursuing a degree in English Nonfiction Writing at Brown University and an intern at The Business Innovation Factory. Follow her on Twitter at @nicharatana.

TIME Web

Wikimedia Foundation Releases Its First-Ever Transparency Report

The group that oversees Wikipedia received 304 non-copyright related requests to alter or remove content and rejected all of them.

Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit responsible for Wikipedia, one of the most visited websites on the Internet, says that it received and rejected hundreds of general requests to alter or remove content over the previous two years.

According to the Foundation’s first-ever transparency report released on Wednesday, governments, organizations and individuals primarily in the United States, Germany and Britain made 304 general requests for alterations or removals from its various websites, which include Wikipedia. None of those requests were granted.

According to the report, between July 2012 and June 2014, the Foundation did grant 24 requests, or 41 percent, of the 58 requests to remove content cited for copyright infringement that the Foundation deemed valid. The report also says that the Foundation granted 8 requests, or 14 percent, of the 56 requests for user data, compliant with the Foundation’s terms, which in most cases require a warrant or court order.

“The Wikimedia Foundation is deeply committed to supporting an open and neutral space, where the users themselves decide what belongs on the Wikimedia projects,” the Foundation said in a blog post announcing the release of the report.

The report’s release coincided with the opening of the first stage of Wikimania, the annual conference of more than 2,000 Wikimedia fans and volunteer editors that is taking place in London this week. It also comes as other web giants, including Facebook, Twitter and Google, are increasingly releasing information about their interactions with governments around the world.

“Transparency is a tenet of the Wikimedia movement,” the Foundation said in its blog post. “The transparency report we share today is in furtherance of our commitment to such openness.”

One of the highest profile cases of a request to remove content came last year when a French intelligence agency asked the Wikimedia Foundation to remove an article about a French military base that it said contained classified military information. The Foundation, noting the information was openly available elsewhere, rejected the request and issued a statement about the incident here.

TIME privacy

How to Take Control of Your Personal Data

privacy
Getty Images

Just how much data is there about you online?

Before you answer that, think about the slew of social media networks, retailers, insurance providers, fitness tracking services and other digital services you’ve interacted with in your lifetime.

Companies mine the tracks we leave as we browse the Internet, then sell the data to targeted marketing firms and customers. The digital data marketing industry, including companies generating revenue from online ads and selling user data, was worth $62 billion in 2012, according to a 2013 study by the Data-Driven Marketing Institute.

Yet you and I, the users who actually create this data, have little to no control over what it’s used for. Having control over our data means being able to view it in its entirety whenever we want (instead of having to file a formal request with an energy provider, for instance) and to decide if, when and how companies may use it.

“The mere fact that the data is in the cloud puts it at least one or two steps from you having control,” says Lee Tien, senior staff attorney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights organization. “If you lose access to the Internet, you lose access to your data.” Ideally, Tien says, you would possess a complete copy of your data from all the services you use, downloaded to your computer — and in a perfect world, you’re the only who would have it.

New services are getting on board with that idea. From a vault for your most sensitive documents to a private browser that could one day allow you to sell your data yourself, the services below can help you reclaim control over your digital self.

Your personal encrypted cloud service

Personal is a highly encrypted cloud storage service where users are the only ones with the key necessary to decrypt their data. You can manually upload documents as well as email passwords, account numbers and addresses. Partner service Fillit can automatically save data fields to your cloud. For example, if you’re shopping for car insurance, once you fill out one application, Fillit can auto-populate others.

A link between Personal and the Department of Education allows you to import all data fields from your FAFSA application and National Student Loan records. You can also import data from Facebook and LinkedIn. In the future, says Personal’s chief policy officer Josh Galper, federal health records will also be available for import, letting you manage and share your medical history with doctors or insurance providers as you see fit.

If you want to share data with a trusted friend (for example, so that your spouse can fill in a mortgage application), you can send a key to decrypt and download a particular piece of info from your vault. You can also delete your account at any time, wiping out your virtual vault but keeping everything you’d downloaded.

Personal doesn’t store your log-in details, and since each vault is encrypted, the company itself cannot view the stored data. However, the weak link in the security chain could be devastating if broken. A Personal password that gets hacked due to lax personal security or the theft of a device that’s still logged in could give thieves access to — well, everything, ever.

Price: $29.99/year or $2.99/month with a 30-day free trial

Download social media posts to one secure location

SocialSafe saves a copy of all your social media posts and photos to a local hard drive. Currently supporting seven networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it’s searchable across all accounts for specific content such as particular friends or posts about an event. Analytics tools let you see highlights such as most popular photos and which days you’ve posted the most, over any period from a day to lifetime.

Founder Julian Ranger says that the company has no access to user data at all. “We have no servers, no central database that could be a target of a hack,” he says. Instead, users download the SocialSafe software, which connects with each account to directly download your data.

SocialSafe will become even more useful as other types of providers join its ranks. Ranger says that integration with fitness, financial and retail outlets is in the pipeline, and the coming months will see the inclusion of location check-ins, Spotify listening habits and data on the so-called quantified self (diet, fitness and sleep habits). This will allow you to obtain copies of data that’s hitherto been disparately held, and, as Ranger says, gain insight into your own behavior.

Price: $6.99/year (four linked accounts) to $27.99/year (20 linked accounts) with a 30-day free trial

Centralize your bills safely

Bill fetcher FileThis, which will be out of beta testing this year and is expected to support 1,000 services by 2015, connects with utility and financial providers to import bills and statements to your local hard drive or a cloud service like uber-secure service Personal. FileThis supports major banks, Paypal, Verizon, American Express and many energy and water companies.

Once you’ve fetched the documents you need, FileThis can recognize fields (dates, keywords and account numbers) and file various types of statements for easy searching. For example, a National Grid statement would be put in a Utilities folder, then tagged with keywords such as “Gas & Electric” and “Invoice.”

Because FileThis uses bank-level encryption standards and encrypts your log-in details as soon as they’re entered, linking accounts by giving FileThis usernames and passwords should be as secure as online banking. Documents aren’t stored on its servers but simply pass through, encrypted, so hacker breaches should not give access to your data.

Price: Free when linked to six accounts; $2/month or $20/year for up to 12 accounts; or $5/month or $50/year for up to 30 accounts

Collect and protect your browser history

The Meeco browser takes privacy one step further: It stores and encrypts your search history and so-called rich personal data (such as location, age or other info mined by website cookies) in a personal cloud, much like Personal’s model, so that data brokers can’t sell or use the data for advertising. Instead, what you do on the Internet is visible only to you. The idea is that eventually, you can allow particular companies access to particular data about you in exchange for monetary compensation.

The Meeco browser also keeps your web surfing more private by breaking down your history into individual sessions, making it much harder for websites to know who you are and where you’ve been.

Price: Free, currently in beta testing at meeco.me

Download your medical and utility records

In 2010, the U.S. government launched the Blue Button initiative to allow individuals (initially veterans) to download healthcare records. Now many more providers, including labs and pharmacies, allow patients to download medical histories and share them with hospitals, doctors and health insurance companies.

Green Button is the project’s equivalent for energy companies. At the time of posting, 67 energy companies covering 43 million households were participating, allowing customers to download their usage history.

Seeing profit in privacy

What happens if a company’s servers are hacked or a visionary startup that puts privacy first gets bought, as WhatsApp and Instagram were, by a tech giant with a more lax view on user data?

“If the encryption technology is perfectly implemented, then a data breach would be less of an issue — and even if the company is sold, its new owner should still not be able to access user data,” says EFF’s Tien. “But if tech isn’t guaranteed, then what matters is what the terms and conditions say.”

Still, there’s plenty of incentive for companies to get it right. Personal, SocialSafe and Meeco are capitalizing on today’s high concern about online privacy. In the wake of unfolding revelations of mass surveillance, privacy breaches and data losses, companies that don’t respect privacy wind up with a bad rep and lose customers.

Take Personal: The bulk of its revenue is intended to come from companies, such as the businesses that pay for information on users who auto-fill online forms using the service. The for-pay model seems to assuage customers’ privacy concerns. “[In its early stages], people wanted to pay to subscribe to the service, so that they know they’re not the product,” says Personal’s Galper.

At the end of the day, as EFF’s Tien says, “Everything is all about economics.” If a company can turn a profit by tapping into a burgeoning need for privacy, it’s more likely to release a privacy-friendly product. And as Americans grow savvier about online privacy, so will the demand for services whose business models respect user data — and our right to its control.

This article was written by Natasha Stokes and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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TIME privacy

How to Manage Your Online Reputation

There’s plenty you can do to make sure the best parts of your virtual self pop up on that first page of search results.

When was the last time you Googled your name? If you haven’t, it’s a good habit to get into, because it’s exactly what a potential employer is likely to do when they’re sifting through a pile of resumes. “The stuff people care most about is what they find when they Google you,” says Michael Fertik, CEO and founder of online reputation-management firm Reputation.com.

That’s why it’s important that you own what you look like online. Depending on what you (or others) post on social networks or personal sites, what a search engine turns up may not reflect the accurate or professional picture you want it to.

But there’s plenty you can do to make sure the best parts of your virtual self pop up on that first page of a Google search. Here, we’ll walk you through how to do everything from maintaining current social media profiles to ensuring that your professional information appears first.

Decide What You Want Out There

While Facebook posts and photos might be for the eyes of friends and family only, privacy settings on more-public networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter can be more beneficial when relaxed. After all, you don’t want to be completely invisible on the Internet. “It’s weird for people in this day and age not to have an online profile,” Fertik says.

But if you haven’t been refining your Internet footprint over the years, your online profile may also include nuggets like ancient MySpace photos, an out-of-date company staff page, even out-of-context rants on old blogs — all of which can give someone the wrong impression.

Deleting these may not necessarily clear the Internet of the detritus. In an age of retweets, shares, and linkbacks, the same photo can exist on many sites across the web. So instead of wasting time and energy cleaning up a digital backlog, focus on strengthening existing profiles, which will help them beat the less-flattering stuff to the top of the search page.

Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Surveys indicate that anywhere from 88% to 97% of recruiters go to LinkedIn to find candidates. LinkedIn profiles also turn up very high in Google search results, most likely due to the site’s high traffic, how often it’s linked to, and the amount of content users post everyday. So it’s not only a good idea to have a public LinkedIn profile, but to also ensure that it’s accurate, current, and grabby.

LinkedIn trainer and speaker Viveka von Rosen says that the Headline field (the line beneath your name) is the easiest — and most-often overlooked — place to grab attention when building a profile. “Rather than going with the default (your title at your current company) take the opportunity to say what it is that you do. Something like, ‘graphic artist working with startups in the Sudan,’” Von Rosen suggests.

Using keywords related to your field when describing yourself in the Summary and Experience sections can also help your profile turn up on Google if someone is searching for particular skills.

Once your profile is spruced up, you want to make sure it’s visible on the web. Head into Settings and select Edit Your Public Profile. Then check that reads “Make my public profile visible to everyone.” You can then reveal (or conceal) specific information within your public profile.

Von Rosen suggests allowing your Name, Photo, Headline and Summary to be open, while remaining cautious about revealing too much. “With identity theft, I limit what’s visible publicly – for example, in a page of Google search results,” she says.

Get Active on Twitter

If you’re on Twitter, regular posts relevant to your field can help build up your online profile for prospective employers. Like LinkedIn, Twitter profiles often turn up on the first page of Google search due to the site’s traffic and content flow.

Reputation.com’s Fertik suggests picking a Twitter username as close to your real name as possible. That way when someone searches for your name, it’s your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles that pop up alongside your personal website and company blog.

Changing your username is simple: Head to Account and enter the new name. If it’s available, it’s yours.

If your Twitter page is very personal — say, intended for friends and home to some off-color opinions — it might make more sense to limit access to only followers you approve.

Being cautious in that way can do a lot to boost your chances. A CareerBuilder survey found that two in five employers check social-media during the hiring process. Forty-three percent of employers rejected candidates based on inappropriate or discriminatory content on their profiles. On the flipside, 19% of recruiters who scanned social-media profiles hired candidates based on positives they found within.

To stop your off-color Twitter feed from showing up on Google, head to Settings, then Security and Privacy, and select Protect. Bonus: This also prevents the Library of Congress from archiving your tweets.

Dial Up the Facebook Privacy Settings

“Recruiters use Twitter to post jobs, LinkedIn to source candidates, and Facebook to eliminate candidates,” von Rosen says.

Many employers take Facebook profiles into account, even if they shouldn’t. A North Carolina State University study mapped Facebook behavior against personality traits. The researchers found that there’s often little correlation between a person’s real-life personality and how they portray themselves on Facebook, so employers could likely misjudge a candidate based on his or her profile alone.

To keep your Facebook profile out of search engine results, head into Settings, Privacy and select “No” in response to “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?” question.

Facebook no longer allows users to hide their profiles from the website’s own search, but you can control how much of your profile will show up. For example, changing who can see your posts and photos to “Friends Only” means that a potential boss would see only your cover photo, profile photo, plus any About info — where you live, work, or went to school — that you’ve allowed to be public.

If a potential boss is in your extended Facebook network, you might want to change who can see future and past posts. We recommend setting updates as viewable to Friends Only — at least during the application process.

You can also clean up your feed post-by-post. Under Settings, Timeline and Tagging, there’s an option to check how your timeline looks to the public (note that this includes anyone logged into their Facebook account). If the photos and statuses displayed aren’t career-friendly, you can change individual visibility by selecting the photo or status, clicking edit, then changing “Public” to “Friends” or “Only Me” from the drop down menu.

If you have a fan page or are the administrator for a group with a lot of fans, allowing these pages to hit the search engines is good for boosting your online profile. For these pages, head to Settings, General, and make sure that “post targeting and privacy” is turned off. You can also lift any country or age restrictions (the page default settings are open and public).

For more on Facebook privacy settings, including how to limit what’s shown to the Facebook public, check out our comprehensive guide.

Pull Up the Positive, Push Down the Negative

Outside your own profiles, there’s content on the web that’s out of your immediate control. Things like rants from ex-employees, customer complaints, or unwanted photos from a past flame can paint a negative picture.

If you find an unflattering photo or inaccurate info on someone else’s site, the best first step is to contact the site owner and request it be removed or updated. In most cases, the site owner will comply.

However, negative reviews and undesired content that has been posted on sites like newspapers, Yelp, Amazon, or Angie’s List might be harder to take down. These larger companies are unlikely to grant a request unless you can prove the content is defamatory or inaccurate.

If they won’t budge, you can try what services like Reputation.com do: publish more content to push the offending article out of the first page of search results. For example, publish a blog post, put up a photo set on Flickr, or add information to a public social profile, such as LinkedIn or Google+. “Make sure your latest and greatest resume info is posted in short narrative and bullet format on a variety of resume sites,” Fertik says.

For bigger cleanup jobs, Reputation.com (and agencies like it) can take on the task for a fee (from $100 depending on the scale of virtual damage). Reputation.com uses patented algorithms to publish search engine optimized content. For example, the service might write and publish your professional details and biography at a selection of websites they say are picked especially for your field. By publishing lots of high-quality content with good keywords, the negative content should be pushed further down the search results list.

Depending on the industry you want to work in, other social network accounts on less popular portals, such as Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr, can help build an even more rounded online profile. If you work in fashion or design, for instance, a Pinterest profile can both show off your work and help you engage with fashion and design followers (i.e., potential customers).

Increasing the right kind of visibility — and diminishing what’s less appealing — is key to putting your best face forward online. “If you’re not findable by your subject matter and name,” says Fertik, “people aren’t going to be able to give you the opportunities.”

This article was written by Natasha Stokes and originally appeared on Techlicious.

TIME Diversions

Hidden Google: 10 Fun Search Tricks

Google
Michael Gottschalk/Photothek/Getty Images

You could work or you could slack off by trying all these tricks, taking an early lunch and napping in your parked car until 1:30 or 2:00. Totally up to you.

This is where the intro normally goes, but let’s be honest with each other about the nature of this relationship. You’re going to skip right over this part, skim the big, bold headlines, and maybe click on a handful of the blue links. There’s a chance you’ll be mildly amused but you’ll most likely blast a quick puff of air out your nostrils, annoyed that you’ve already seen most or all of these tricks before. You’ll eventually click away to some other site and we’ll never see each other again. We’ll always have this post, though. Thanks for the memories.

Do a Barrel Roll

Search for “do a barrel roll” without the quotes, and hold onto your desk for dear life. Cool, eh? Maybe you’re even a little nauseous.

But the old barrel roll trick isn’t the only Easter egg Google has up its sleeve. Here are several others:

Tilt/Askew

If you’re obsessive and/or compulsive, this trick isn’t going to sit well with you for long. Search for “tilt” without the quotes. Searching for “askew” accomplishes the same end-result.

Change it back! Change it ba-aaack!

Big Answers to Mind-Bending Questions

Search for “answer to life, the universe, and everything” and you’ll get your answer. It’s a real thinker. Of course, Douglas Adams fans knew the answer without having to search for it.

See also: “the loneliest number,” “once in a blue moon” and “number of horns on a unicorn” for a few other cool calculations.

Did You Mean…

Search for “anagram“—did you mean nag a ram? Or try searching for “recursion” instead. Did you mean recursion? Did you mean recursion? Did you mean recursion? Did you mean recursion? You meant recursion, right?

“As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way!”

It’s a Festivus MIIIRACLE! Google “Festivus,” and once you’ve taken in the wonder of this Google Easter egg, feel free to participate in the Airing of Grievances here in the comments section or indulge in the Feats of Strength with a family member, friend, enemy or stranger at your earliest convenience.

Zerg Rush

An homage to StarCraft, search Google “Zerg Rush” and prepare to protect your search results from a bunch of hungry Google O’s. Click them before they eat all your results. Hurry! Why are you still reading this?!

Blink HTML

Search for “Blink HTML” and OH SWEET BABY J, MY EYES! Brings back some fond memories of simpler web-based times though, doesn’t it? Just needs Bittersweet Symphony auto-playing as a MIDI file.

Party Like It’s 1998

As long as we’re going old-school with blink tags, want to see what Google looked like in 1998? Believe it or believe it, all you have to do is search for “Google in 1998” and you’ll be whisked away. Clicking the initial search results will return the archived versions of those pages, too.

Shake It

While we’re on YouTube, type “Do the Harlem Shake” into the search bar. Ah, memories of a meme from a couple years ago.

Try searching YouTube for these ones, too:

Break It

You can play a game of Breakout, wherein search results from Google Images morph into breakable bricks. Just search for “Atari Breakout” and click the Images tab or go straight to images.google.com and search for “Atari Breakout” there.

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