A recent survey revealed that less than 1/2 (47%) of Internet users have ever punched their own name into Google. That number is a lot lower than I would have thought. It’s not that I think adult Internet users are narcissistic, but ego surfing does seem to be a logical use of Google.
If you have kids, you should definitely Google their names to make sure they aren’t posting personal information that you’d rather not be out there. I have absolutely no privacy qualms about this at all. If it’s in Google, by definition it’s public info. It’s not snooping!
If you have a fairly unique name this can be a very effective exercise. If you are the Smith family with kids Bob and Tom, it’s not going to be particularly useful. In that case, you’ll want to play around and search the kids names plus their school or your hometown. Try a few things that would likely appear near their names if they were posting in bulletin boards or social networking sites. You’ll need to be creative to ferret out whatever info may be out there. Not finding anything surprising is what you are hoping for.