How To


Patrick Devaney


When that cursor is blinking in that little magic box that sits beneath the Google logo there are billions upon billions of possibilities waiting. What you type in can bring you some incredible results but it could also bring you results that could shock and disturb you. It can also bring trouble your way if you give away too much information or ask the wrong question.

As helpful as Google is the sheer power it has at its fingertips means we need to treat it with care. If we don’t want to leave ourselves shocked, disturbed, disgusted or vulnerable we have to recognize that there are things that we should never Google.To make sure we all stay safe let us go through the top 10 things you should never Google. Don’t even think about using copy and paste!


1. How to make a bomb or just crimes in general

Now this one might seem obvious but we should highlight it anyway. You’re probably not going to get a knock on the door from the FBI if you do this but your IP address might get added to a database for anything from 5-10 years. Not so shocking. The real no no for this type of thing is doing it repeatedly or posting information regarding such things onto internet forum.

Also, as bombs can be made from household items you need to be careful about the other searches taking place on your same IP address. If you’re looking for a new pressure cooker whilst your son is researching terrorist attacks for a history project you could set off a red flag. Maybe it is best to avoid phrases like “How to Make a Bomb” or “Bomb Making Instructions” all together.

2. Anything about health

Google definitely isn’t a doctor!

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there saying you shouldn’t ask Google what is wrong with you. The most common story you’ll hear is that Google will tell you you’ve got cancer. If you’re really worried about a medical problem you might have there are specialized search engines available that will give you much more reliable answers.

Another reason not to Google anything about health is because you might get back some gruesome images. This is especially the case if you’ve a problem with one of your more sensitive areas. You don’t want to be seeing horrifying images of your favorite parts and thinking it is going to happen to you.

3. Skin Condition

This one is clearly linked to health but the image results you’ll get back from this can be so disturbing that it deserves a special mention. Don’t do it. Honestly, just don’t. If you’re skin is itchy or red got o the doctor or even just to the pharmacist. Do not Google that you’ve got a skin problem and don’t know what to do.

4. Your own name

OK, sometimes we have to do this. If we’re looking for new work, for example, it is good to see what potential employers will see when they inevitably Google you. Thing is though, unless you deliberately try to keep on top of it the chances are they won’t see you when they do.

9/10 you will be if you Google yourself

You know what that means don’t you. Neither will you. You’ll be faced with a wall of alternate yous all doing better than you are and achieving all sorts of fantastic things that you’re not even close to achieving. Even worse, do not click on images. Yep, they’ll all be better looking too.

5. Your email address

This one is similar to Googling your name but can throw up different types of results. When I Googled an old Hotmail email I got back an eerie result.

Just in case you weren’t sure. I’m not dead!

OK I’m not a 94 year man from Yorkshire but it is still freaky to see an obituary for a guy with my exact name. Rest in Peace Patrick. I hope you lived a full and fulfilling life.

You might also find out that somebody else could be using your email address for god knows what nefarious reason. On second thoughts maybe you should Google this one but do it quick and try not to look at the results!

6. Anything that might give away your insecurities

The things we’re insecure about might be logical and based in reality or they might not be. They are, however, emotional feelings of inadequacy, which leave us vulnerable to unscrupulous advertisers who are trying to flog us whatever they’re trying to sell. I’m not attacking advertisers here I’m just saying that it is easier to sell something to somebody’s emotional heart that it is to sell it to their cold reasoning brain. Any information you give out about your internal doubts will be used against you at a later date. Don’t ask Google “if you’re fat” because you’ll only end up buying some ‘lose weight fast’ fitness scheme or plan!

7. Don’t search for things that indicate your location

This one will be difficult to do, especially if you’re looking for that amazing Vietnamese place you were told does the best Pho. It is worth taking into account just how precise a picture Google can build up about you based on what you search for.
Over time our innocent searches, when tagged together, allow these mega corporations to know more about us than even our own mothers. What do they do with all of this information? Why, they sell it of course. If you want to delete all of the data that Google has on you should follow the tutorial we’ve laid out here.

8. The names of anybody new in your office

Are you sure?

As I see it, there are 2 very good reasons for not doing this.

  • You might find something out that you don’t want to and then what are you going to do with that information.
  • You immediately become a bit of a stalker once you’ve done it.

Think long and hard. Do you want either of these outcomes? No you don’t

9. Things to do before you die

Have you ever done this? Didn’t think so

Not if you’re a pessimist anyway. Optimists might look at the results they’ll get and look forward to when they’ll cross them all off their bucket list. Pessimists, however, might be crushed with the feelings of irrelevance that come with knowing that they’ve wasted their puny lives.

10. Google

Can you imagine what would happen if you Googled Google? I can’t. I don’t even think the brain can compute such things. Mine shuts down when I start to think about the entire internet folding in on itself and…

You see! Just thinking about what could happen crashes my brain, god knows what would happen if somebody actually did it. I mean there is an outside chance that it’d just return some basic info about the world’s dominant search engine but I’m not prepared to try it out. Are you?

Follow me on Twitter: @PatrickDevaney_

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