One that will take the FBI to crack a hole in.
Perhaps your thought tells you, "It's the trust factor."
This is sometimes true-THOUGH not always so.
You know why?
Its because trust has a limit, especially if the organization you have to contend with is a large one.
This is why it’s important you strive to protect your online integrity.
Hence, the need to share a story with you.
Reason You Need To Protect Your Integrity
An article in forbes shared the experience of Erik Kopelman, a business development professional who was haunted by an accusation that appeared on the web in 1997.
"It was an accusation printed in the student paper about the misuse of funds” he says.
According to the article, Kopelman was clearly worried. He felt that these allegations were simply going to haunt him.
However, he discovered that as years went by and as he had a lot of experience under his belt-the ingrained fear began to dissipate.
And today, he is no longer bothered as that page no longer goes above the second page of search engine results.
The above story, thought me a brilliant lesson about the importance of protecting your online reputation at all cost.
But before I share with you, I will let you into a short personal story.
When I was a little bit younger-can’t seem to remember exactly if it was I or one of my siblings who was spoken to that day. But what I can clearly remember was that my Dad came to one of us and said, “Why did you take my money?”
It was outright shocking and I could feel the sense of disbelieve that flooded my face, but my mum defending us said, “My children aren’t thieves-they can do a lot of thing, but not steal money.”
Remembering this, I now understand the importance of having integrity and trust. But as I mentioned earlier, just leaving it up to trust- especially on a small scale isn’t enough to protect one’s integrity. Therefore, it behooves on us to ensure that we take the necessary steps to guide it jealously.
This made me understand that making conscious effort to build a solid reputation will protect one in time of trouble. Hence the need for this article:
How To Protect Your Online Reputation-13 Ways
There are many things you as an individual can do to protect your reputation; however, I will be listing 13 of them below. So let's get down to these tips.
1. Generate Positive Search Result
|The above image shows a search result for my name|
If you as an individual wants to protect your reputation, there is need for you to have a positive search result.
The reason being that a positive search result helps shield you from negative reviews to an extent, especially if you have an unworthy past. Its aims is to ensure you rank highly in Google, Bing and Ask.com
Hence you need to set up personal social media accounts for these sites. By being fairly active on these sites you are sure to have your profiles pop up at the top of Google search engine-reason being that these sites do have high page rank.
2. Set Up Alerts
Another way to keep yourself in the loop of things concerning your brand or name is for you to subscribe to Google alert. This service is free. Another service you can make use of is Mention.com. They are all geared towards giving you timely info whenever your brand or name is mentioned online.
This goes a long way in ensuring that you give prompt response to situation as they arise.
However, in responding to question or queries you need to be careful-the reason being that if care is not taken, people may assume that you want to cover the truth or you could blow the situation out of proportion. So there is need for a balance.
3. Don’t Give Up Your Name
Registering your domain name is another great way to protect your reputation. just imagine www.yourname.com being a pornographic site?
If you’ve decided to avoid this situation, just sign up with Godaddy as it takes less than 10$ to protect your name for a year.
If on the other hand you feel you need to be a celebrity before you snap-up your name-I can tell you, it might become late by then.
A familiar example is that of LindaIkeji of http://www.lindaikeji.blogspot.com who needs to cough up to 1 million naira for her to get back her domain name-www.lindaikeji.com.
4. Crowd Out Negative Content
An easy way to do this is for you to produce content on a regular basis. This is why blogs are extremely important.
Setting up a blog doesn’t need to cost much. For just $50 you could get a nice looking blog.
The reason you need to set them up is because setting up a blog and publishing content regularly helps push down negative reviews about you or your brand.
5. Give Out Free Advice
Giving out free advice is an excellent way for you to build your online reputation. This is the reason why guestposting is an incredible way to protect your online reputation as it gives you the opportunity to connect with people who will fight your battle for you.
For example if for one reason or the other a disgruntled customer goes online to make a complaint, by having an army of followers you’ve built by relating with other bloggers you can easily see people who would vouch for your integrity.
6. Treat Your Customer with Respect
It has been said that customers are king. This saying isn’t far from the truth. By treating your customers with respect you are sure to build integrity and expand your business.
This is because these customers can act as your mouth piece. And the most awesome part of this is that they are willing to do it for free.
7. Check and Cross Check
Before posting something online-ask yourself if posting this stuff will in anyway hurt your reputation. If the answer is YES, then it’s best if you set up a different e-mail with an alias name.
8. Avoid Degrading Response
Sometimes you are going to be attacked online by scammers. In the midst of this challenge, it’s pertinent that you carefully file your response. This way people will consider you as someone who has self control.
If you feel angry, it’s important you hold back from responding. Its better you take in a deep breath or even step away from the computer than for you to make a damaging statement.
As for trolls, avoid feeding them –just ignore them and their comments will die a natural death. However if you are +Mike Elgan, then you can let your followers fight the battle for you
9. Contact Webmaster
If you stumble on an absurd article, that aims at tarnishing your image. Simply get across to the owner of the site. Utilize the contact form or if there is a listed mail-send a polite one asking for the webmaster to remove the offending part.
Your mode of approach is very important. This is because an antagonistic stance may just escalate the problem.
If for one reason or the other you feel you’ve erred, humbly apologize, by so doing you could win back the heart of people as you will be seen as someone who is willing to accept mistakes
11. Let Private Be Private
If you need to share things that only a few people need to see them there is need for you to modify your privacy settings. Be careful what you share to co-workers and your boss as this may turn to hurt you. Be careful who you tag on social media as the photos you tag may not be protected by privacy settings.
12. Check Your Present Reputation
It’s important you do a simple Google search of your name. Check out what you see. If in any way you feel what pops out is something you don’t like, do the following:
- edit it to reflect the reputation you want to be known by.
- if it’s time consuming-you can assign it to professional to get it done for you or you can delete the profile.
13. Seek Legal Help
There are times when you may need to seek advice especially if you need Google to remove certain materials that you may conceive to be offensive. In this situation, seeking the help of legal personnel is important.
Have now gotten to the end of this post, and will need you to help me share it. If you also have any other tip don't fail to join the conversation