Protecting your private information online is incredibly important. You should always keep tabs on what information is available online about you. Having an online presence is an everyday part of most people’s lives, and every new online opportunity for networking or social media means more information sharing to manage. If you market yourself online, you also have a brand to maintain and protect. Finding a balance between protecting your privacy and sharing and selling your brand should be a major consideration.
Like millions of individuals and companies you probably have Facebook and Twitter accounts, a blog and maybe a personal or professional website. Most of these sites are probably public, meaning anyone can view or even save the information or media that you share. You can keep your information safe by watching what you share; signing up for Google Alerts or by using online reputation management services are two methods. Creating a consistent awareness of what you are sharing in your personal life will give you greater peace of mind; developing a system for protecting yourself will actually give you more internet freedom – not less. You will be at less of a risk for online identity theft, something which is a concern for anyone who uses the internet.
If you are a business owner and rely on the internet to run your business, you must consider managing both your personal and your business reputations; they are intrinsically linked. You cannot expect that your business and personal lives online will ever remain totally separate. You can run a tight ship with regard to privacy settings on personal social media, but it is not foolproof. The information that people find about you can influence how they feel about your business. Make sure to keep all of the info you share professional, even on your personal sites.
Finding the right help to keep tabs on and manage your personal and business reputations is an important component of proper reputation management. Many professionals choose to take advantage of the services offered by companies such as Google. There are of course companies like Reputation.comwhich offer full time reputation management services.
Only share content that you are comfortable with anyone seeing; everything you share can be cached and archived. If you find any personal information of yours online that you did not share, take steps to get it removed. Items such as your social security number, tax ID number, bank account or credit card information is an open invitation to identity theft. You can request that Google delete the search results and have the information removed.
But in order to get any other information removed, you will need to work with the owner of the site where the information is hosted. Google does not control individual websites. This means that you should be careful about what you share. Think twice about the info that you make public, and you will have few if any regrets.