A lot of care is put into our real world reputation.
Hours can be spent making sure we buy just the right style of shoes or suit to make an unspoken representation about us. For many, that pride in ourselves and care of our image seems to go away once we are online.
Our online image is just as important, and perhaps becoming even more important, in today’s digital world.
Laura Simonds says in Time Magazine, “today, the Internet acts like a lens that magnifies every blemish, perceived insult and mistake – and then broadcasts it with a bullhorn.”
Sadly, mistakes have been made. Photos of you power drinking at 2 a.m. have a home on Facebook for the entire world to see.
Monster makes some recommendations on how to make an attempt at undoing the damage.
Scope out the damage and determine what damaging information exists. Putting your name into search engines and researching the results is a good way to start. After you find out what is out there already, use a Google alert to find out when more comes along.
Bury the damage. Try making a new blog or other type of website about you. Fill it with positive promotional information in an attempt to make the good outweigh the bad.
Request removal of undesirable material. Contact site owners and explain reasons for wanting material. If the information is inaccurate, defamatory or libelous, point that out.
Just keep in mind that having things removed is not the same as making it go away as if it never existed. Much of what appears online is archived at the Internet Archive, a nonprofit designed to be a resource for historians and researchers.
Take an honest look at your online reputation today and ask yourself if you would hire yourself based on what you see.