amanda winkle

My current Twitter profile picture shows up in a Google search.

Google searches have made it easier than ever to find whatever we are looking for. “Just Google it” has become the common response when someone is seeking the answer to something. However, those searches can also yield creepy results when you do a search on yourself.

When I searched for “Amanda Winkle,” the results that came up on the first page were tame enough:
-Links to Facebook profiles for those named Amanda Winkle – you won’t find me because I have my profile set up so it doesn’t show in a public search.

-Links to LinkedIn profiles for all the Amanda Winkles – you will find mine.

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My profile picture from when I worked at The Florida Times-Union.

-My Twitter account – though the girl with the Twitter handle @amandawinkle shows up one result higher than me. But I have more followers. Hope no one mistakes me for her (they shouldn’t because I have a detailed description and nice photo of myself). Meanwhile, she has profanity in her description.

-Also, my old author profile from when I worked at The Florida Times-Union shows up.
When I search for my email address, it says “no results found,” which is interesting considering my email address is with Gmail. Probably because I don’t put my personal email out there for the world.

Yet the search still looks for results for my email with spaces added. Most of the results are the same as what I found when searching “Amanda Winkle,” yet two videos I’ve uploaded to YouTube come up as the first two results (below)


Under an “Amanda Winkle” image search, past and current Twitter profile pictures of me pop up, as well as pictures of Amanda Winkles I don’t know. Interestingly enough, Pinterest photos I’ve pinned have also come up. It doesn’t really bother me and perhaps it’s just a setting that can be tweaked, but I didn’t know those photos were searchable on Google. Photos I’ve taken for the Times-Union come up, as well as photos from my current job at First Coast News.

Yet when I search for my full name, middle name included, a whole bunch of creepiness comes up:

-For free, U.S. Search can show you where I went to school, who I’m related to and places I’ve worked. For a nominal fee, they can show you more.

A whole list of “Amanda Winkles” shows up on pipl.com with links to our “background report” and “contact info.” Radaris.com has the same type of list.

Overall, I feel that my online reputation is pretty clean. I try to keep in mind that a variety of people – teens, adults and young kids – could see what I post on social media. I’ve taken down the more questionable Facebook photos from my early 20s and try and keep my swearing down to a minimum (this can be difficult to do during football season!).

It does worry me, not so much that my more personal information is out there, but that it could fall into the wrong hands. I guess this is just a risk we take living in this new digital age. The best thing we can do is to use the many tools at our disposal, such as a simple Google search, to monitor our online reputation.

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