Why You Should Think Twice Before You Google Your Date

Love, Heartbreak

Internet "research" on your dates may not be as anonymous as you think.

Daters of the world: Think before you Google.

Details on potential dates, current boyfriends and their pesky ex-girlfriends are all readily available via the convenient Information Super-Highway, but Googling someone might not be as anonymous as you think.

If the person you're stalking — I mean, researching — has any form of website featuring statistical data (perhaps from Google Analytics), your browsing isn't quite anonymous. Tools like these track IP addresses and where hits are coming from, including geographic location.

Here's the explanation from the folks at HowAboutWe, who originated this very useful public service announcement:

"So, let's say you live in Queens, and your crush's name is 'Sally Draper.' If Sally has an analytics tracker, she can see that someone who lives in Queens used the search term 'Sally Draper,' to find her site, and that the person spent 10 minutes clicking through. Not a huge deal, but while Sally probably gets a lot of direct hits to her site, it's different knowing that someone is actually Googling her."

Yikes. Of course, there are ways around these darn analytic traps. Simply type the URL of your crush's (or boyfriend's ex-girlfriend...) blog or website directly into the address bar. Or, you know, chill out and stop obsessively Googling people. Either one works.

Do you Google your romantic interests, or their ex-girlfriends?

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