Defend your online reputation

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Above are ten tips on how to protect your online reputation.

Defend your online reputation
Beware of digital activism against you. Anything you publish online
or is published about you can influence how others perceive you.
Nosy neighbors, prospective employers, and others will check your
online reputation, so you had better check first.

Defend you reputation online. Your digital presence matters to your
livelihood. Now that you're aware of digital activism, and the
methods for removing negative content with some specific actions
that won't cost a dime, we encourage you to get started! Scrub
your name off the Web.

Happy endings...
Have a plan to deal with the negative chatter about you or your
close family member! Your best option is always to deal with the
Webmaster who can remove the page entirely.

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What is information warfare?
Online Reputation Management Secrets
Manage Your Online Reputation for free
Online Reputation management for Dummies
Defend Your Online Reputation!
You can stop the spread of negative information about you

Manage and defend your online reputation for free...
Employers, universities and colleges, landlords, nosy neighbors,
friends and foes will search for you online ~ and sometimes what
they find isn't what you want them to see. If you have a digital
presence, then you must proactively manage how you and your
family are portrayed online.

It's an information war! Don't just hide bad information ~ make
sure to get it deleted for free. In a few steps you can mitigate
identity theft and simultaneously manage your reputation without
paying for a costly service. You can ~ and should ~ defend your
reputation online. Below is how to remove negative content with
some specific actions you can take that won't cost you a dime.
We promise!

How to Defend your Reputation Online
Everyone needs to defend their online reputation, not just
celebrities, politicians, and businesspeople. If you're online, then
you must guard what other say about you.

Your reputation online matters. Realtors, bloggers, teachers,
college applicants and athletes all need to manage their careers
by managing what's online about them. There is an information
war and it's up to you to defend your personal reputation, which
could affect your bottomline: a paycheck. Thankfully you can fix
your reputation online and protect it by taking an active role.

Here's how to defend your reputation online:

#1: Check your online reputation.
The first step in defending your online reputation is to see what's
out there with your name on it. Start by entering your full name
into various search engines. Next try variations of your name,
and see what comes up.

Do this for as many search engines as you can ponder, but start
with Ask, AOL, Bing, Duckduckgo, Google, Yahoo and so on...

  • Type in your birth name including your middle name.
  • Enter variations, including nick names and aliases.
  • Search for your name with the name of your spouse, parent,
    sibling, child or other relative or friend who may have lived
    with you.
  • Conduct a search of your name with your city and state.

After you've checked the popular search engines listed above, be
sure to search under the search engine
Peekier.com using your
name and state. While the company calls itself the most privacy-
oriented search engine, it actually assembles all the information
about you in one easy to find place provided you use a name and
state. It's a great place to gather dirt on someone if you use it
properly.

#2: Document the URLs of the negative data.
As you're checking your online reputation, be sure to create a
document that captures the URL of the negative data. Capturing
a list of negative URLs will help you manage the data you want
removed. When you've finished compiling the document, you can
reference and ensure removal of your personal data from the
Internet.

An important caveat is don't use Google Docs for storing this
information. Unfortunately Google Docs is not encrypted, so
storing data here could get into the wrong hands and cyber
criminals could use the data to extort you.

Microsoft Office has password protection. The security feature to
protect Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) documents is  
a user-provided password. This means that a Microsoft Word
document is a great place to cut and paste the URLs, provided
you're at home. Don't use the Microsoft Word document at work
where others, like your boss, could find your aggregate data.

#3: Seek out aggregate data Web sites!
Aggregator Web sites don’t produce content about you. Instead,
they collect content from other websites. They “aggregate” your
data into one hub location. Consolidated information posted in
one place is extremely problematic as it may magnify portions of
your data you don't want highlighted.

Take a close look at search engines, and you will find your data
is being pushed by a variety of aggregate sources. It's not illegal
that a Web site create a hub of your data, but it certainly can be
uncomfortable for you. Take control to delete public records about
you! The list below is a good start to help you remove your
personal information.

Delete public records from being posted on the Internet:

  • MyLife.com ~ One of the most aggressive sites to list your
    private information is mylife.com. While you can write
    privacy@mylife.com and Removalrequests@mylife.com to get
    the process started, unfortunately a cached version of your
    data will appear long after the company has removed the
    page itself. The cached data will have your birthdate and
    age, which you may like to keep private and you have the
    right. The next step is to report the privacy problem to the
    search engines. Report an unsafe site through the various
    search engines to get their attention.

  • Whitepages.com ~ Whitepages.com claims to find people,
    contact information and to perform background checks. What
    this company does instead is post your information on the
    Internet and then make it difficult for you to remove it.
    Whitepages has contact information, including your cell
    phone number! They list 275 million people nationwide. You
    can remove your name from white pages by writing
    privacy@whitepages.com, but you'll need to get a URL of
    what you want removed. Here's how to find it. Go to your
    favorite search engine and type your name followed by
    "whitepages.com" ~ for example:
    John Smith https://www.whitepages.com/
    When you find the records with your information and the
    correct city click on the link and then copy the URL. Now you
    have the data you need to get it removed. Write
    privacy@whitepages.com and request removal of the URL.
    You will then receive an e-mail from a customer service
    representative and a request number. Soon your name
    should be wiped clean from the Internet.

  • Peoplefinders.com ~ Sites that are an aggregate of public
    records search are troublesome for many reasons. You'll
    have to use the peoplefinders.com online form instead of
    writing privacy@peoplefinders.com.

  • USApeoplesearch.com ~ The site insists that "public
    records are documents that contain non-confidential
    information about people, property, businesses and other
    important topics." Thankfully if you prefer not to have your
    information available online, you can request removal.
    USApeoplesearch.com has an opt out form online where you
    will have to identify the URL you want removed. Your first
    name, last name and State are required for removal.

  • PeekYou.com ~ Another aggregate site that collects your
    personal information is peekyou.com. To get your personal
    data removed, you can write privacy@peekyou.com and
    provide the URL for removal.

  • Blockshopper.com ~ When you bought a house, you never
    thought that a company would publish your name and
    address on the Internet, but there it is for all the world to
    see on blockshopper.com. The site says they're goal is to
    post recent sales and property taxes to ownership and
    neighborhood news. The site also promises to get a full view
    of the market in your area, but really what the site does is
    inform others when you purchased your home and who
    purchased it with you. As well blockshopper.com published
    the purchase price and who was the seller. The main
    problem is that blockshopper publishes your exact address.
    Targeting your exact location could be dangerous,
    particularly for preppers. Interestingly the information is not
    always accurate. For information on the privacy policy, write
    info@blockshopper.com if you would like your data removed.

  • instantcheckmate.com ~ Another aggregate site, this site
    gathers media, photos, police records, background checks,
    civil judgments, and even contact information. To remove
    information, you will have to opt out:

  • spokeo.com ~ Spokeo is a search engine that focuses on
    people. The help you evaluate others, the site organizes
    white pages listings, public records and social network
    information into simple profiles.

  • Intelius.com ~  Writing them at privacy@intelius is a good
    start, but this company requires you complete their  opt out
    form! They also then want to sell you on a service to
    remove  you from data brokers.

  • Truthfinder.com ~ This site is an aggragate of Social
    Media, including Photos, Police Records, Background Checks,
    Civil Judgments, Contact Information and Much More!

Other sites

  • Geni.com ~ You'd be surprised how much genealogical data
    is out there about you that you didn't enter. While your
    details might be kept private on another site, you might
    have an over zealous distant relative who has been copying
    data to geni.com from these private tree Web sites. Before
    you know it, your data is out there for the world to see.
    They might be wrong or dead wrong. There have been cases
    where living people find they died.

  • Legacy.com ~ A well meaning relative may have included
    your name in an obituary. Now you are linked with your
    mother, which may mean identity thieves have a maiden
    name; a pedophile knows you have children; and an overly
    obsessed ex-lover now can find you more easily. Write
    privacy@legacy.com to have sensitive information removed.

  • unicourt.com ~ provides access to court records, like
    divorce records, and also provides legal analytics.

#4: Create a new and separate e-mail account.
Protecting your online reputation requires clever tactics. Having a
new and separate e-mail address is an important step to
managing and protecting your reputation.

To manage your online reputation, you simply must create a new
e-mail account. You'll use this account for the express purpose of
writing to various organizations online where you want data
removed. Your e-mail address could look like this:
  • YourNameRemoval@yahoo.com
  • RemoveYourName@gmail.com

It's important to take this extra step to help minimize the
threats of identity theft. Otherwise you will have inadvertently
connected cyber criminals to the e-mail address where you're
shopping online.

Not only does this help keep your data more secure, but it's also
easier to follow up with organizations to ensure removal.

#5: Manage your social media presence.
An easy way to help manage your online reputation is to tread
carefully on social media sites and to monitor activity on you.
Start by being careful about what you put out on the Internet ~
and teach your children this important rule: anything you share
today on the Internet can show up to your future boss.

  • Think of your online presence like a digital tattoo. The
    mark will always be there once you inscribe it. You can cover
    it up or pay someone to remove it or hide it, but the imprint
    will always be there. Do your best to leave a positive mark.

  • Set up Google Alerts. With Google Alerts you can monitor
    online activity about you ~ it's like a custom search that
    gives you instant notifciation of when someone is talking
    about you or your business. Google will push news and
    information about sites that mention your name. It's like
    eavesdropping on the online bullies! It's also just good to
    know when other sites are linking to your business or
    quoting you.

  • Respond carefully to negative comments. Eventually you
    may suffer a negative comment online. What is more
    important than the negative comment is how you respond.
    Respond swiftly

  • Don't drink and surf the Internet. You may regret what
    you write after a glass of wine or beer when you let your
    guard down.

  • Take a look at the privacy settings of your social media.
    Tweak your privacy settings or delete questionable content,
    but know your content never really disappears. It can
    resurface thanks to cached website data.

  • Look at all the social media sites, including LinkedIn.com
    ~ You may not be thinking that linkedIn is a social media
    site, but it is! LinkedIn users can add content and have
    other comment on it. Make sure to use correct grammar and
    have a positive tone as what you write and like on the site
    can have unintended implications. If you have had a problem
    with someone online such as an ex-boss or emloyee, be sure
    to block them from this site. Know that LinkedIn allows you
    to manage your privacy. You can control who sees your data.

#6: Think of your name as a brand.
Another way to manage your online reputation is to think of your
name as brand. A brand is a product or service that's carefully
crafted and promoted by means of advertising and marketing and
this often includes a distinctive design.

As a prepper you must create a preparedness system to
circumvent the circulation of bad or inaccurate information. The
book
Online Reputation Management for Dummies, pictured is the
ultimate guide for business, but many of the concepts can
translate to you personally. You must craft a plan to create
positive opportunities to maximize your online presence. The
book is a "must have" if you own a Web site and depend on your
reputation online for your livelihood.

#7: Discern between public and private information.
Establish a zone of trust with your true friends. Take an active
role so they know the difference between what is public
knowledge about you and what is private data that's not
intended for public consumption.

Here's how to control the boundaries of what is public information
as you leave your digital footprint...

  • Take advantage of privacy settings. Reporting, flagging
    and blocking are important online tools to help you maintain
    a positive online presence. They help you fine-tune the
    behaviors of others around you.  While each social media
    platform has its own version of these settings, it's worth
    taking the time to review them all. You can avert most
    negative social media experiences entirely through tjese
    privacy settings. Restricting access of certain individuals is
    half the battle, but sometimes the damage is already done
    and you'll have to take action to have the social media site
    remove the content.

  • Get help. If privacy settings aren't enough to banish
    negative content, then write the social media outlet to
    complain of misconduct of another user. Be sure to connect
    the dots to the company about how the other user's actions
    violates your privacy. If that still doesn't work, then you may
    need to rely on proprietary methods of removal.

  • Know when a site is breaking the law. Sometimes
    information a Web site posts about you is unlawful and in
    such cases you can seek legal action. If money isn't a
    concern for you, by all means seek legal help knowing it
    could cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees. Weigh this
    alternative with the possibility that this strategy can
    backfire and cause you with more unwanted publicity.
    Content could be illegal if you can prove:
  • Copyright infringement
  • Defamation of character
  • Discrimination

#8: Employ Search engine suppression.
You can bury information. Hiding data from the search engine
results is one of the last methods for removing negative results.
There are two methods for search engine suppression:

  • Reverse SEO. If you have a Web site you can create more
    content to drown out the negative publicity so that the
    content you don't like is further down the list in terms of
    page ranking. The idea is that people are generally lazy and
    will visit only the first few pages of search results and won't
    dig much further to find the negative content.

  • You can request search engines to deindex their results.
    The good news is that the search engines can remove the
    link so that when someone conducts a search the site
    doesn't appear. The bad news is that if someone already has
    linked to the page, then this link gives eternal power to
    viewing the data. What's more, even if they can remove the
    data, they might not remove the data without a court order
    because it's costly and time consuming for them.

    What will the search engines remove?
  • bank account numbers
  • credit card numbers
  • copyright violations
  • images of signature
  • medical records
  • pornography and sexual imagery
  • social security numbers

    Information search engines don't usually remove:
  • addresses
  • date of birth
  • images
  • telephone numbers