When people meet someone new, they usually first do a quick internet search to find out more about this person. From a general Google search to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, it is easy to find information about others.
The same thing happens when you apply for a job or offer a service. These days, we are so connected that an employer or potential client can find almost any information about us online. While you may think your online presence is not so bad, someone might dig up that post from 2009 where you were accidentally racist, and this might mean losing the opportunity at that business.
Since you cannot go back and change what you put online all those years ago, there are steps you can take now to protect your online reputation. Here are a few of the ways this can be done:
Before you can embark on the journey to rectify and protect your online reputation, you first need to know what it is. Use a computer where you are not logged on as the main user, such as in an internet café or at your friend’s house.
Type your full name or your business’s full name into a search engine and look at the results. This will give you a rough idea of what kind of information about you is available to the general public. You can also ask someone to enter your name into the search feature on social media and see what information comes up in the results.
Once you know what your online presence looks like, whether for the purpose of employment or business, you can take the next necessary steps in changing and protecting your reputation. If you find a lot of negative information about you, you can trace the sources and address the negativity at the source.
Slander and false reviews
If your self-search turns up results containing slander or false reviews, you can address these with a lawsuit. These kinds of negative reviews fall under defamation of character, and you can sue the poster.
If you come across negative reviews that are unfounded or unreasonably harsh, hire an attorney. USAttorneys.com has a large number of attorneys who specialize in various fields of law. You will be able to find an attorney to represent your defamation case without any problem.
Opening a case of defamation can be a lengthy process, but it can help improve your reputation online. The case outcomes will dictate to what extent the offending party will have to restore for damages. Still, it usually includes not only withdrawing the negative statement, but also replacing it with a neutral or positive review, or public apology.
Steps to take online
Firstly, you can somewhat clean up your current presence. Knowing that people are looking at your posts for reasons beyond entertainment can help you publish more thoughtful content.
Some sites allow you to view history and delete posts, but this merely archives them and they can still be accessible to those who are tech-savvy. However, taking this step is still better than leaving that regrettable post out there for the world to see.
It is also a good idea to go on to a minimum of ten social media platforms and set up accounts in your name or your business’s name. This gives you control over the algorithms associated with this name. It allows you to set the standard of searchable information based on the standard of your posts.
Buying the domain with the same name as you or your business is also an important step in this process, as it can be set as the first result on a browser search, meaning you control what people see about you.