Guest Post by Christian Hamilton, ReputationManagement.com
As the Internet’s influence on society has grown, it has provided previously unfathomable advancements to the realms of record-keeping and fact checking. Unfortunately, those advancements have also come with a cost. With no expiration date on our old tweets and little context to our photos and private messages, our words and pictures online can be transformed into ammunition for anyone seeking to tarnish our names.
The potential for our social profiles to both boost and harm our reputations can create anxiety among young professionals and business owners in particular. How can individuals balance their past and present online participation with their lives and careers offline?
The boundaries that once separated past from present and professional from personal have become blurred, and this has placed a burden on future generations. The Internet is a fundamental element in 21st century communication, but it can also act as a bottomless digital well for potential attackers.
A Simple Tool to Protect Your Digital Reputation
In this environment, the importance of a proactive approach to online reputation management is clear. Thankfully, you can enlist the help of a simple tool that you probably already use everyday: Google. One of the simplest and most effective ways to get started is by Googling yourself. Monitoring your own results will allow you identify potential issues before they become crises, so begin by plugging your name (or your brand’s name) into Google and browse the first few pages to see what you find.
If the results are mostly positive, that’s great! You can focus on maintaining your image by building out your social profiles and web content.
If you find less favorable results, don’t panic – there are steps you can take to make them less visible or even potentially have them removed. If no results that are returned are about you, you may need to consider creating web properties that will rank well for your name.
Taking the first steps toward a better online reputation can at times be an overwhelming experience, but remember that there are services available to help you. If a situation becomes too much to handle on your own, consider working with a team of crisis management professionals.
To learn more about your search results and to help make your searching more effective, check out the following guide.