Google Web Alerts – an underused personal info tool

Was talking with a colleague today about Google Alerts, a service which allows you to be notified when information on specified topics appears on the web, Google News, blogs, etc. Many of the people who use it focus on professional interests – e.g. they set them up for their company or their competitors/industry.

But for me the most useful alerts are personal – and about information you wouldn’t expect to appear online. For example, I have alerts for my social security and mobile phone numbers. If these showed up on a website somewhere i want to know. Similarly, my street address and family names. Also one for my name + date of birth.