Google has launched a tool to help people monitor online mentions of their names and take action to protect their reputation when they find objectionable references and information.
The new application, called Me on the Web, is aimed at people interested in tracking online references to their names and to other personal information that may be slanderous, inappropriate or incorrect.
Specifically, Me on the Web simplifies the creation of Google Alerts, which generates a notification whenever the Google search engine crawler finds a specific term on a Web page. In this case, people would want to create alerts for things like their name or e-mail address.
"Me on the Web also provides links to resources offering information on how to control what third-party information is posted about you on the web," wrote Product Manager Andreas Tuerk in a blog post on Wednesday.
To use Me on the Web, people need to have a Google Account. It is located in the Google Account's Dashboard section.
The application addresses a growing concern as social media use explodes and mentions of individuals' names and information proliferates online.
For example, it has become common for recruiters to search online for information about job applicants, and for regular people to do the same after meeting someone for the first time.
Thus, malicious or incorrect information about people can cost them job opportunities or earn them a bad reputation among acquaintances.