Defining Your Online Digital Reputation

Reputation is the key word. In fact, online digital reputation has never been more important. While a few years ago much of our personal information was still considered private, today our digital reputations expose more information about our lives than ever before. While many people don’t think much about having a “digital reputation,” information about almost all adult Americans can be found online. And while our real life reputation is largely defined by us through our interactions with others, our online digital reputation defines how people perceive us – without ever having a single conversation. The fact is, a digital reputation can be incorrect, it may present only partial information and it might even allow for slander and online attacks to define us for others.

While some individuals have taken steps to protect their digital reputation, far fewer people feel as though they have real control over it. Yet, your digital reputation can be shaped by actions online as you unintentionally expose many pieces of data about you and your life. All this contributes incrementally to online digital reputation.

A person’s digital reputation begins with information from public record sources that define you – whether you want to have an online reputation or not. While you may not participate in the initial results delivered about you, the Internet frequently consolidates information about you, your family and your business, and delivers that information through a simple search query.

This information can have a lasting presence online, permanently impacting you. Exposure of this private digital information can affect friendships, or influence whether or not you land a new job or get a promotion. Online content can even impact your ability to secure bank loans and mortgages, the underwriting of insurance for you and your family, not to mention creating many embarrassing situations.

Reputation Advocate suggests the following to protect your digital reputation: First, stay vigilant and have the courage to conduct your own personal online reputation review from time to time. You must know what search information is being used to deliver your current digital reputation. When doing this, check your digital reputation by searching for all the variations of your name. First name, middle name, last name as well as first name, middle initial, last name and simply your first name and last name. Each one of these search terms creates a unique set of search results and thus offers potentially different online digital reputations.

If you are a business professional, search your professional designations such as “doctor,” “MD,” or “PhD.” Each one of these queries may well deliver different search results that could negatively impact your life. As you review your online digital reputation search results, make sure that your findings reflect the reputation you’d like to share with the world, with current and future employers, colleagues, friends, and family members. Remember that your online reputation can be a determining factor for hiring – or even being offered an initial interview.

You may be surprised at the amount of information that is found about you online. Many people admit to inadvertently sharing information online that was intended to remain private. Many times this private information makes its way onto the first pages of your search results.

Reputation Advocate builds digital reputations for professionals, individuals, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. We serve clients throughout North America, Latin America, and Europe. If there is currently information online that is hindering you professionally or personally, Reputation Advocate can assist you in building a comprehensive, honest, transparent, digital reputation. For more information, contact us at 888-229-0746.

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