Not a day goes by without news of the latest celebrity scandal, but don’t be fooled into thinking that only boldface names get trapped in Internet hell. Today, it’s easy to make an allegation about anyone and watch it spread like wildfire. But what if you are on the receiving end, and even worse, the story isn’t true?
Wall Street Journal reporter Elizabeth Bernstein’s Dec. 1 article, “The Dark Side of ‘Webtribution,” suggests that thanks to the Internet, vengeance is easier, and nastier, than ever. And much more prevelent. “You can ruin someone’s life while sitting on the couch watching TV,” she writes. The Internet has turned us into a mob.
Don’t wait to take a hit; defend your online reputation. Here’s what Bernstein suggests you can do:
* Find out what is being said about you. Create a Google alert and Twilert on Twitter for your name.
* Sign up for free web sites that allow you to brand yourself, such as LinkedIn, Ziggs or Naymz.
* Buy the URL for your name.
* Don’t respond online or in email to anyone who has said something bad about you on the Internet.
* If someone has defamed you, report the comments if they are a violation of the site’s abusive language policy.
* Create a blog and constantly update it. You want this fresh content to rise to the top of a search of your name.