Since its introduction to the public, the Internet has brought us a great deal of convenience, allowing us to find a wealth of information we wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Unfortunately, other Internet users also have easy access to the same levels of information and sometimes it pertains to us. The rapid pace at which technology and information availability has grown has made it easier for Internet identity theft and cyber bullying to occur.
Nowadays, it’s important to protect yourself, your reputation and your privacy on the Internet just as you would in the real world. According to Reputation.com, Kerry Harvey, a 23 year old sales executive, fell victim to identity theft and had her reputation ruined when someone stole her personal information from her Facebook account and set up a new account, promoting Harvey as a prostitute. Although the fake Facebook account was eventually deleted, the identity thief was never caught and Harvey’s life and reputation were both adversely affected for years after the incident occurred.
Internet monitoring is a proactive practice every user should employ to keep track of information posted about on the Internet. A proactive approach can help you avoid the presence of potentially damaging information on the worldwide web where it can affect the rest of your life. This type of careful proactivity can protect your online reputation and safeguard your identity, job status and personal reputation if you incorporate some of the following common sense practices.
- Find and Alert You to Posts About Yourself. It’s one thing if you voluntarily post information about yourself on social media venues such as Facebook. But if you discover someone else is posting about you, especially in a negative light, it can be alarming, hurtful or even scary. Some of the people who create these harmful or negative posts are cyber bullies. The ability to find these types of posts can help you act to deter a cyberbully from continuing this behavior. Google Alerts can send you notifications of posts and responses as they occur so you have the opportunity to act fast when something potentially damaging is posted.
- Find Personal Info Exposed on Internet. We all enter personal information on the Internet. If you bank, shop or conduct business online, chances are you’ve set up a personal profile that contains various pieces of personal data. Proper protection can prevent identity theft by protecting your passwords from being swiped via the Internet or cellphones. According to Science Daily, anti-virus, anti-adware and anti-spyware programs offer comprehensive protection that provides a triple threat against identity thieves. Programs such as McAfee and Avira protect you from self-installing software that can glean your passwords, as well as information about your computer use.
- Clean Up Damage to Your Reputation. The ability to clean up your online reputation can have a great impact on your career, personal life and family life. If the damage is extensive and impactful on your career, litigation can be effective in having slanderous material removed. AutoBodyNews.com encourages businesses whose success has been affected by false information posted on the internet to counteract it by building up their reputations with positive information on their website or blog.
The wrong information in the wrong hands can prevent you from being hired, cause you to be fired from your job or harm your reputation at home or in school. The ability to be proactive is critical to ensure that your reputation and image are safeguarded in a way that allows you to progress through life without having to lose days, weeks or months trying to undo the mess created by damaging or personal information on the Internet. Practice common sense when posting on the Internet and use these suggestions to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft or damaged reputation.