Friday, November 20, 2009

How to Protect Your Online Reputation & Identity

I recently set up Google Alerts to notify me when my articles are published and also to verify that no one has stolen my articles/content (which has happened in the past). As a business owner with a web presence, it's important to manage your online reputation. Identity theft runs rampant across the globe, and it's easy to steal information online.

Here are a few tips on how you can manage and protect your online reputation:
  • Google yourself and see if anyone has a similar company or business name (or the same name as you!) The best way to protect yourself is to set up a Google profile with a photo or company logo (which associates your face with your business/company name)
  • When creating your website, use your business name or a variation of it - this allows you to buy the domain name so no one else can use it
  • Don't give out too much personal information on social media sites. There have been Facebook and Twitter hackers running rampant these days, so be careful about the type of information you post on these sites. However, for professional social media sites it's important to add a photo (which builds a sense of trust and credibility amongst fellow site members)
  • Don't respond to spam and set up a spam folder in your email account so spam is automatically filtered. Phishing emails are commonly used to steal people's information (bank account information, etc.) so be careful when reading and responding to "questionable" emails. Obviously, never send money to someone you don't know.
  • If you conduct sales via PayPal or other payment transaction sites, make sure your business transactions are secure and clear out the cookies on your computer (this both protects you and your clients/customers)
  • Set up Google alerts so you can track your information online. If you write articles, make sure you have a copyright disclaimer (if you don't want others to steal your content or ask that your byline be posted when others use your content). For more information about digital copyright laws, check out the Digital Media Copyright Act (DMCA)
  • Use appropriate Net-iquette when posting information and updates on social media sites. It's easy for clients and customers to track down information about you. Your words could come back to haunt you!
Reputation management can save you from a lot of hassles down the road. It's important to stay ahead of your competition. It's also VERY important to respond immediately to any negative comments posted on blogs and forums about your or your business. Word of mouth travels fast online so make sure you conduct yourself professionally online (and offline) at all times.
The last thing you want to deal with is damage control!


  1. Great tips, Therese! I need to incorporate some of these suggestions. I do try and be mindful of what I post on social media sites, especially with the rise in crime.

  2. Hi Ms. Marketing Maven, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. It's scary how easily people can swipe your information online. You have to be careful!


Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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