5 important tips for managing your online reputation

Michael Zammuto is the president of Reputation Changer, a company that helps people manage their online reputations.
Michael Zammuto is the president of Reputation Changer, a company that helps people manage their online reputations.

Take it seriously
Treat your online profile as a professional asset and determine if it positions you the way you want it to. Google yourself often and see what the world sees when they look for you.

Commit to a professional online persona
You will be judged by what you post and what others do, too. Select a professional voice and spell-check your postings. Don’t post or say anything online that you wouldn’t want your grandmother or boss to see.

Monitor
Sign up for free, no-obligation alerts on a site that manages online reputations. Enter your name or other keywords and be alerted when potentially damaging materials are posted about you. At Reputation Changer, the technology crawls the “deep Web” going beyond what search engines look at to see what dangers may exist.

Take proactive control
Commit to ensuring that the entire first page of Google’s search results for your name or your company bring up websites or pages that you control.

  1. Even a site like Yelp or Wikipedia portrays you in a particular way, so make sure you control the message.
  2. Set your Facebook privacy settings so that nobody can tag you in a picture without your approval. Review the privacy settings of all the social media sites you use.
  3.  Create online assets using your exact personal and/or company name as the title (such as .com or .net). Use social media profiles and free blogs. Update and post to these pages consistently. The volume of activity required depends on how prominent you are. The more prominent you are, the more active you must be.

Prepare for the worst and react fast
Proactively build up some messages that you can release if a negative news story breaks. If you believe that people may post negative or embarrassing things about you, try to head it off, but expect that you cannot. Once it is out there you can only react to it. If you need to apologize, do that, but don’t debate online because it drags out the conversation. Shift the conversation to the things that you want people to focus on.

By the numbers
70 percent of U.S. companies say that they have disqualified candidates based on what they find online about them. By 2014, 53 percent of all retail sales (online and offline) will be influenced by the more than 1.6 trillion searches conducted per year.

These tips were compiled by Michael Zammuto, president of Reputation Changer, a company that helps people manage their online personas.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…