What do the images you post online say about you?
There is an old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is equally true when it comes to the modern world. In 2016, if someone were to re-invent this line it might become: “A screenshot is worth a thousand words.”
Any digital file, image, or piece of information on the Internet can be captured by a screenshot in less than a second. If there are racy photos of you on the Internet, someone can take a screenshot – capturing the information forever. Given this, it might be a good idea to close your eyes for a moment or two and think about this question:
“What does the information I’ve posted online say about me?”
This question is worth quality thinking time before you come up with an answer.
Photos of you drinking, partying, and otherwise having fun on your own time could cost you potential business partners and result in missed opportunities. However, these consequences are preventable if you take Online Reputation Management seriously.
In short: Be careful what you post about yourself online. Even if something is password protected, there is no guarantee that your personal information can’t be hacked and shared with strangers around the world. The bottom line, if you have sensitive private information it needs to stay that way.
Here are just a few of the scenarios where a quickly taken (and shared) screenshot could cause you Online Reputation Management problems:
Photos of Drug Use: You could be fired from your job.
Photos of Partying & Drinking with Friends: Looks unprofessional. Could cause you to be passed over for a job interview.
Posting a Relationship Status: If you haven’t shared the information publicly, you may catch friends and co-workers by surprise. The result could be uncomfortable questions and awkward social situations.
Sharing Political Views: Depending on the nature of your work (particularly if you are a senior government employee) this could get you fired from your job.
Our friends and colleagues often talk about us behind our backs; it’s human nature and can’t be helped. Gossiping is something that helps to pass time at the office, and you can be sure hiring managers chat with each other about potential candidates before deciding if they’ll invite someone to an interview.
Which is a good reason to take Online Reputation Management seriously. By proactively creating a positive image of yourself online, you set yourself up for success. Thinking carefully about the kinds of documents and photos that you post will help to ensure your online reputation is something you can be proud of.
On a final note, should you ever find your online reputation tarnished, there are firms specializing in Online Reputation Management that can help. Many of these firms use Reverse SEO to push links that reflect poorly on you to page 2 or 3 of Google’s search results. Most people who browse the Internet for information don’t bother to go beyond page 1 of a search engine’s results.
If you ever need help defending your online reputation, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.