As Internet users grow by millions everyday, so does the importance of one's online identity - a fact proven by numbers - 57 percent American adults google themselves frequently to keep tabs on their reputations online.
According to a report from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project released today, that's the number of people who track information about their Internet identities - up from 47 percent in 2006.
The survey is based on results from telephone interviews of 2,253 individuals in 2009. More and more Americans are signing up for social networking sites, and an increasing number say their work information, photos and birth dates can be found online.
46 percent of adults use online search engines to dig information on people from their past, and while 38 percent have searched for friends, 16 percent have searched for information about an ex-flame.
This new trend of social networking has definitely quieted peoples' fears about privacy invasion, with more and more people parting with personal info like phone numbers.
"Contrary to the popular perception that younger users embrace a laissez-faire attitude about their online reputations, young adults are often more vigilant than older adults when it comes to managing their online identities," Live Science quoted Mary Madden, a researcher at the Internet and American Life Project and an author of the report.
More and more adults are logging on to social networking sites, and even employers are keeping tabs on employees through the Web.
While not common, online misfortunes do happen: 4 percent say they have had personally bad experiences as a result of inaccurate or embarrassing information posted about them online, the report reveals. And 8 percent say they have tried to remove personal information, such as photos or videos, with 82 percent being successful.
However, people are happy that they have been able to get back in touch with old friends as well as get to know people before they meet them.