(5) Ways To Help Clean Up Your Online Reputation
Because of the scope of the internet, negative and untrue information can spread pretty quickly online. You could even be the one responsible for the information about you online, especially if you made a forum post or blog post a long time ago that is still visible. This might not bother you, but research shows that employers are using the internet more frequently to find out information about potential employees. Your private information could also be used by a hacker. To control your reputation online, there are a number of measures you can take that can transform people's perception of you when searching online.
1. Find Out What Information Is Out There About You and/or Your Business
Firstly, you will need to find out what information is out there. Use Google to search your name and see what information is available to the general public. You might want to search your name alongside some other piece of information, such as a location or your profession. Look for things that have been said about you on social network profiles or blogs. A website like PeekYou may include information that won't show up on other search engines, so you might want to have a look on there as well. You might also want to search your own individual social network accounts, like Twitter and Facebook and have a look at old posts that you might want to delete now you are older. Cleaning up your social network accounts can be a great way to delete old information which is inaccurate or personal information that you don't want to be made public.
2. How To Clean Up Social Media
It's pretty easy to clean up your social media accounts - just find the post that you want to delete and wait for the delete button to appear. This will be the trash can symbol on Twitter, or the 'X' on Facebook. You may also want to change your privacy settings on your social media pages, restricting personal information to only friends or family. If a post has been made by someone else and you want to remove it, it can be more difficult. However, you could always send a private message to the individual and explain why you don't that post to appear any more and ask them if they will delete it for you. If they are your friend and can see that information posted online is important to you, then they should be able to delete the comment from their social media profile.
3. Post Positive and Promotional Content
If a post or piece of information about you is inaccurate or you want it removed, and it appears at the top of search engine results, you may want to create new content about yourself in order to bury this older information. You can post a blog post every day or update your personal websites or social media accounts. If you own a Google + or YouTube account, you could post information on these accounts, as they will appear higher on Google search results as they are owned by the same company. Another way to promote the positive is by setting up a LinkedIn account which can be used to list all of your academic and work achievements in the past, and can be a great way for potential employers to find out more information about you. Remember, keep the information clear and concise and try to sell yourself.
4. Check For Negative Posts On A Regular Basis
Once you have cleaned up your reputation online, you will need to check on a regular basis. Google Dashboard allows you to set up a number of search alerts for data. You will be able to use the service to notify you every-time a piece of information that is about you appears online. You can tailor the frequency of these alerts, so you don't have to receive emails on a daily basis if you don't want to. TweetBeep is a similar service but pertains to Twitter posts. You will be able to receive a notification when something is printed about you on the social media site.
5. Maintanance and Management
Now that you have mastered and implemented the first four strategies, just repeat them on a regular basis and your online reputation will never be an issue.