Sue Scheff: Internet Fact vs Internet Fiction

What are they saying about you?

National Cyber Safety Awareness month is a reason for you to take a closer look at who you are virtually.

Many people believe that if they are not online; don’t use Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or other social media that you are immune to what lurks in cyberspace.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. There may come a day when you need employment (or new employment), or want to apply to college (even adults), or simply want to join your local community center. Will someone be reviewing your application? Is your resume perfect for a certain position but you are not getting a call? Do you own a small business and your phones have stopped ringing? What does Google say about you?

Let’s look at another angle. Your child is in competitive sports, or your spouse is a member of a prestigious club, or your parents own the local dry cleaners (or any small business), or you are the president of the PTA, etc. Then there is one upset and/or jealous person that feels you are getting too much attention. Or your child gets the lead in a school play while their child was eliminated?

It only takes a few keystrokes and a click of the mouse before your world in your small little town can become virtually incorrect as you are now accused of malicious acts, even harming your child, being an unfaithful spouse or worse. I have received many emails that this is not unheard of, and people’s lives are devastated from others with intent to ruin your life. Afterall the Internet is a extra-large city with limited regulations and no jails.

Be proactive with your online profile. Take the time to insure your reputation. Whether you are a housewife, a parent, a career professional, a student and others – you are not immune to Internet gossip. Years ago gossip was limited to your own geographically area, now it can go worldwide very quickly. A 20 year reputation can be ruined in 20 minutes with a few vicious keystrokes.

Many Internet readers do not take the time to figure out Internet fact verses Internet fiction. Internet gossip can go viral in a matter of minutes, days, weeks and suddenly you have become someone that has the plague and no one wants to be around you or hire you.

During National Cyber Safety Awareness Month take an hour to build your online image. I posted some tips in an earlier article, Internet image: Tips to maintain your virtual profile and image.
For more info: Read my new book, Google Bomb! The Untold Story of the $11.3M Verdict that Changed the Way We Use the Internet.  You may also want to consider an online reputation management service, ReputationDefender.

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