10 Tips for Maintaining a Professional Image Online


Defend Your Reputation

It's your reputation. Defend it vigorously.
It's your reputation. Defend it vigorously.
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Be proactive in guarding your privacy and your reputation. This process can be time-consuming, but dedicating time every week to finding and removing dubious content is well worth the effort.

For example, if someone tags a questionable photo on Facebook, you can remove the tag yourself. If you can't remove the tag, nicely ask your friend to do it.

Or, if an acquaintance creates a blog post with stories you'd rather not share with the entire world, ask him or her to remove offending details. It's better to address this issue with friends than with your work colleagues.

Don't expect someone else to do this work for you. Be extremely leery of companies that want to charge you a fee to supposedly remove your name or associated content from Web sites. It is virtually impossible to entirely remove content from the Web. The Web is a worldwide network, and no country's laws can compel a site to remove specific content, even if that site is hosted in the United States.

In the rare instance a lawyer or judge could convince a site owner to remove content, that content would just be distributed to many other sources. In short, there simply is no reining in content once it's online. Your best option is to keep negative materials from ever hitting the Web in the first place.