The Internet and social media have made keeping in touch with family, friends, colleagues, trends or all sorts of information easy and quick. While people are more and more connected to the Internet, the risks of identity theft, online reputation problems, phishing attacks and more keep increasing. It is thus a good idea to check what information is available about ourselves and make sure it remains under control.

It is important to remind ourselves and our loved ones Internet may have granted us easy and convenient access to all sorts of information but also grants access to information about us to complete strangers that may be malevolent.

Families: protect your data

Parents should remain careful about their children’s online activity as well as their own. Data such as their address, children’s names and pictures can often easily be found online. In the hands of the wrong people, this can put the whole family at risk.

Surprisingly, few social media users undertake to check their privacy settings and limit what they share online as well as who they share it with. Social networks privacy settings should regularly be checked for each family member on a regular basis as they can be updated from time to time and it is often a good idea to remind yourself about what content you want to share and who you want to share it with.

Following safe online habits involves staying up to date and taking proactive steps to protect ourselves and our family on a daily basis.

Why should we monitor our online reputation?

Monitoring one’s online reputation is important to ensure nothing is showing there that can damage the person’s reputation and chances to get a job, a business opportunity or keep one’s dignity. Furthermore, contrary to when data is stored on paper, once something is published online, it can stay there for a long time and even if you can remove it, some information may have already been aggregated and stored.

Here are a few steps anyone should run through to evaluate his online reputation:

Search your full name as well as nicknames on search engines. Don’t forget to check images as well as text results.

Evaluate what appears on your name. Is it about you? Is it true? Does it reflect how you want to be perceived by others? Is there something you wish would not be there?

If you find something that should not appear online such as personal details, your identification card or passport number or other sensitive information, immediately take steps to remove these. If they are not on a webpage you control, ask the Webmaster to remove it.

Keep on the watch

Once you finish curating information available online about you, you will have to keep checking your online reputation remains under control as things can quickly change. Data may become exposed due to a number of reasons out of your control. Data breaches, malicious programs or ex-friends or dates can cause your sensitive data to be spread publicly without your knowledge.

Keeping an eye on your mentions will ensure you know about it and react within the right timeframe.

Manage your online reputation effectively

If you don’t only want to know what is being said about you but be perceived by others the way you want to, you will need to proactively manage your online reputation. This is particularly important if you run a business or when looking for a job. It is worth noting that most employers evaluate candidate’s online profiles before granting an interview. This also applies to business partners and clients; they will likely check your online reputation before choosing you.

To achieve the best results most businesses or individuals get help from online reputation management agencies to do all the hard work for them while they concentrate on their jobs or day-to-day activities, knowing their online reputation is in safe hands.

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