1.2 Your Organization’s Data

Now look up your organization on Google. Try out different combinations and have a look at ratings and comments (e.g. What are the ratings and comments about your service or institution on Google maps?)

Now try to ‘Smart Google’ the organization you work for. Try out the following search queries and see what you find:

site:[enter URL website of your organization] filetype:pdf


Searching for publicly available Excel files:

site:[enter URL website] filetype:xls

Searching for budgets:

budget site:[enter URL website] filetype:xls

Search if your organization is leaking personal information:

site:[enter URL website] intext:[“phone number”, “social security number” or “address” or
“name of intranet”]

Did you find anything surprising?
Did you find any data that should not have been accessible through the internet?
If your organization is publishing sensitive or personal data by accident, do you know who to report it to?

Find out more:
More information about “Smart Googling” can be found here.

Find out how you can increase your security and privacy on Google.

Google security options

Most platforms allow to adjust the privacy settings. In many cases this is a very easy exercise and highly recommended. You can still use the service the same way you used to, only now you have more control about what kind of data is shared publicly about you. To change your Google Privacy Settings visit the following dashboard Google provides: https://myaccount.google.com/. Here you can click through the different options and change the settings.

Another important setting is about how advertisement is presented to you. If you turn off personalized ads, this will also help to increase your privacy https://adssettings.google.com/authenticated

Google also offers you to do a privacy and security check up, this gives you a good overview of your settings.

Note that you should check your privacy and security settings again from time to time.

Find out how you can increase your privacy and security.

Increasing your privacy

These resources will help you take more control over your personal data: