When we enter the adult world, we tend to put a lot of care into building and cultivating our reputations. The way we present ourselves and the way others perceive us lends itself to how successful we can be in both our personal and professional lives. But have you ever taken the time to consider how your cyber reputation is affecting you? We post, share and like without a second thought, but every piece of information we divulge about ourselves online lives on the Internet forever. So it may be time to consider how your web behavior is shaping your online reputation and spend some time learning what steps you can take to ensure it’s protected.
The best way to figure out where your current reputation stands online is to search your name. This will show you what’s being said about you on the Internet and allow you to see what pops up in name based search results. You’re going to want to know if negative sentiment, an inappropriate article or photo or any incorrect information is appearing so you can take any necessary actions needed to correct or hide
You can also perform this task on the social sites you currently have a presence on. For example, Facebook offers a few tools that allow you to see how you appear to other users. A quick search on Facebook Graphs, the company’s natural language search engine, will show you in which context you appear to others. If you’d like to get even more specific, you can use their “view my profile as it seen by others” feature to see how your profile looks to particular people. After you’ve performed these searches, if you notice any items appearing that could possibly tarnish your reputation, there are steps you can take to improve it.
First, you should make sure you’ve claimed a profile on all available social sites under your name. This way you will have a broader presence online and you won’t risk the chance of having someone else post anything falsely on your behalf. However, while your expanding your presence online, keep in mind that every single profile you create should have a different username and password. If the thought of remembering a handful of different passwords sounds overwhelming, not to worry, there are tools, like Password Manager in Kaspersky Pure 3.0, that can keep you organized and secure.
Once you’ve claimed these profiles, you should then be proactive in publishing positive content about yourself on them. The more relevant content you have published, the further your old, unwanted items will be pushed down in search streams. Make sure you’re taking what you post seriously though, especially if you’re in the midst of building your professional status. Potential employers are likely to take to the web to search for you before making a hiring decision, so don’t give them any reason to hesitate offering you a job. You can even go as far as using a paid service that will monitor any social mentions about you, so that you’re fully aware of what’s being said about you so you can share positive sentiment and delete negative items if possible.
Finally, when it comes to social profiles, don’t forget to be overly cautious when it comes to revealing personal information about yourself. Never divulge too much! You should stick to the basics and only share things that are necessary and needed. The more you share, the more appealing you are to an attacker who is looking to steal your personal data, and possibly even your identity. You should get specific with the audiences who will see any personal information and updates you put out there. For example, if you’re posting a status update on Facebook about your latest trip, you can target that information to specific Facebook Groups you’ve already established so your whereabouts aren’t known amongst the general public.
Our reputations no longer solely exist via word of mouth. They are now available online for all to see, and we should all be taking the time to properly look after them. The Internet’s popularity won’t be dying down any time soon, so be sure to establish your reputation now for a more successful and secure future.