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A Publication of WTVP

Given the ease with which one can make negative comments online, and with the rise of customer review websites like Yelp, it’s more important than ever that you be proactive when it comes to managing your online reputation, both personally and in business. There are a number of tools out there that can assist you with this.

One of the easiest things you can do to monitor your online presence is to sign up for Google Alerts (google.com/alerts), a free service that will email you whenever your name or company name is used online. And while this is informative, it can’t correct any damage that may have been done to your reputation. For that, you’ll need the help of a company that specializes in online reputation management.

One such company, Reputation.com, was started by Michael Fertik because he didn’t like the idea that people’s reputations were being marred forever by social media posts about their youthful indiscretions. “It felt un-American that when the conduct was online, it could have permanent effects on the speaker and the victim,” Fertik told The New York Times. “The right to new beginnings and the right to self-definition have always been among the most beautiful American ideals.”

And so, he created Reputation Defender, which became Reputation.com earlier this year, and began offering services to help clients protect and repair their online reputations. These services range from contacting
websites to remove damaging posts to creating large amounts of positive content in efforts to bury the negative. It even offers a free service called uProtect.it that allows Facebook users to encrypt their comments and posts so only specified individuals can access them.

In June, Google released a new tool, “Me on the Web,” that deals with online reputation management. It doesn’t offer nearly the set of tools that Reputation.com does; it’s more of a streamlined way to set up Google Alerts, along with a few tips on managing your online identity and removing unwanted content.

In an age in which a single misguided post can torpedo your chances at landing that dream job or making the big sale, it’s more important than ever to be active when it comes to managing your online identity. iBi


FAST FACTS
79% of recruiters and hiring managers review posts to social networking sites and blogs in the screening process.
70% of recruiters and employers have rejected an applicant based on what they found online.
75% of college students’ Facebook profiles contain inappropriate information.

Source: Reputation.com

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