Sue Scheff: Ouch! That wasn’t nice! Online Slime

What is Virtual Vanity? OUCH – it will hurt if not attended to.

What happens when you do find or see negative or not so nice comments about you online?  What happens when you read outright lies and twisted truths?  It can hurt, but it will hurt more (virtually speaking) if you engage.  Especially if you see some websites that seem like consumer protection websites, grievance sites, complaint forums etc.  Although some may be legit, there are many that are not.  Read about them in Google Bomb.

How to approach negative content:

•Be sure your early warning system is in place -set up Google Alerts and BackType
•Never, ever engage in it. Don’t fuel or feed it. That is exactly what the perpetrator wants, keep your cool and work diplomatically to get it removed.
•Determine the website that the negative content is posted on – look for the TOS (Terms of Service) or Code of Conduct
•Read the TOS (Terms of Service) or Code of Conduct and determine if the post is violating any of them such as: abusive language, slanderous content, harassing etc.
•Write the Support Team at the website and bring the post to their attention and exactly how it is violating its TOS and politely and professional ask them to remove it.
•Retain an online reputation service, they are usually the pros and cost effective verses the legal road.
•Last and most costly is retaining an attorney. Cease and desist letters are cost effective (usually approx $1000) however if you are not ready to litigate, I would recommend you don’t send one – most will take the letters and post them, and it will get worse for you.

Take control of your virtual presence today. <<< Go back.

What is virtual vanity? <<< Go back.

For more information, order Google Bomb today.  This book can literally save you from many Internet errors with your virtual image.  The approximately $10.00 book is priceless in value!


Sue Scheff: Internet Defamation Talk Radio

I was thrilled to be a guest on Traverse Legal Radio this week!

We talked about Internet Defamation and how it can devastate your business and reputation. 

Learn more – click here to read the transcript and listen!

Reminder: Purchase Google Bomb book to learn more about how you can maintain your virtual image!  Learn from my mistakes!

Sue Scheff: Give Books that Give Back

Cartoonist and author, Tom Wilson, also known as Ziggy, is generously contributing 100% of his royalties to LIVESTRONG in memory of his wife, Susan.  She passed away of breast cancer on November 18, 2000. 

From today until Susan’s birthday, January, 19, 2010 when you order any books from Health Communications, Inc. (HCI) through this affiliate link, a percentage will be donated to LIVESTRONG.

Health Communications Inc. offers a wonderful library of self-help books, inspirational books, Memoirs and so much more.  HCI is the original home of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and is now continuing their heartfelt generosity to LIVESTRONG.

I am privileged that HCI is also my publisher and able to add my books to the list that will be giving back.

Check out the slideshow  for a few of the titles and explore HCI’s website.  Be sure to enter HCI through to order the books.  It is holiday time and books make a perfect gift for everyone!  From children to grandparents, you will find the perfect title to fit your holiday list!

Also on Examiner.

Sue Scheff: Holiday Gift of Virtual ‘Presence’

Skip the holiday presents – give the gift of virtual presence!
The who:


The who:

  • *  Help jump-start your potential college applicant/application.
  • *  Out of work?  Learn to promote your skills online.
  • *  Professional or small business owner?  Learn to own and manage your virtual image.

The why:

•53% of Americans Google each other. Pew Internet & American Life
•26% of college admissions officers use search engines to research candidates. University of Massachusetts Center for Market Research
•64% of teens say that most teens do things online that they wouldn’t want their parents to know about.
•77% of executive recruiters use search engines to research applicants. CareerBuilder

The how:

Tip 1:  Check out your social networking sites.  If there is information or photo’s on there you wouldn’t share with your grandparents, chances are they shouldn’t be on the Internet.  Keep it clean!

Tip 2Sign up for personal branding services.  This is free.  Services such as Naymz, Ziggs, LinkedIn and LookUpPage offer free online profile set-ups.  Take the time to create your cyber resume.  It is important to own your own name and your own background. 

Tip 3: Create your own Blog. There are many free Blog sites such as Blogspot and WordPress.  Take the time to let your potential college or employer see that you are enthusiastic about your interests and motivated to be all you can be.  If you are a professional or business owner, let your future and current clientele see that you are up-to-date and knowledgeable about your products and services.  [For example and]

Tip 4: Create Google Alerts for your name, business name and nicknames. This is free.  Find out when, how and why your name is being use online.  This vital for small businesses especially.  If there is a disgruntled client or customer, you want to know and hopefully can rectify the situation before it gets worse.

Here are three tips that have limited fees:

Tip 5: Buy your own URL with your name. For example mine is . This can be as little as $7.99 a year through GoDaddy. Build yourself a small website and share with people surfing and researching the web about yourself.

Tip 6:  Place your name.  Literally you can give the gift of PLACE YOUR NAME with a professional service for as little as $49.95 one time fee.  Let them position your name in the search engines, write a press release for you and more.  All for one low fee

Tip 7: Hire an online management service.  Although there are many to choose from today, my personal experience is with ReputationDefender.  If you know someone that is struggling with online slime, or simply needs a virtual presence or “online make-over” and doesn’t have the time or the computer savvy to create their cyber image, consider giving them a gift of relief with an online management service.  PS:  This is also a great gift to give yourself.  In my opinion and experience, Reputation Defender is the pioneer of online reputation management services and number one in my book.  (I am not a paid sponsor for them and I don’t receive any referral fees from them) I am simply a satisfied client. Costs vary according to your needs. Visit for their many services, as well as NameGrab, their latest addition.

Do you want more tips and practical guidance to help maintain your cyber profile?  Don’t forget to purchase Google Bomb, The Untold Story of the $11.3M Verdict That Changed the Way We Use the Internet (Health Communications, Inc. August 2009).  This book makes the perfect gift for everyone and anyone that uses the Internet, owns a business, has a reputation to protect, applying to schools, looking for jobs and more.

No one is immune to having their Internet image ruined.  So for this holiday season, give a present that gives you or the recipient a ‘presence’.

Remember it can take 20 years to build up a solid reputation and today it can take 20 minutes of a few vicious keystrokes and a click of the mouse, and those 20 years are history.

Also visit my Examiner articles on this subject – Part 1 and Part 2

Sue Scheff: Wall Street Journal shares my story!

I was thrilled to be part of Columnist Elizabeth Bernstein’s articlein the Wall Street Journal – The Dark Side of ‘Webtribution’. She also listed my tips to help protect yourself online as well as wrote a fantastic column about what keystrokes can do to lives!
Click here to read her article dated 12/01/09.

Sue Scheff: Google Bomb Book Explodes in Canada

I was thrilled to see a Press Release in Canada this week.  Google Bomb book has been doing exceptionally well not only in the United States, but also abroad.  If you haven’t learned about my story – a cautionary tale of how vicious keystrokes can ruin your reputation virtually, read Google Bomb today – it also offers practical advice to protect yourself before you are hit with Internet slime!

Read Press Release.

Remember, your BFF today can be your foe tomorrow.  Your soulmate today, can be your adversary tomorrow! No one is immune to Internet Slander – so take pre-cautions to secure your name online.

Sue Scheff: ReputationDefender Expands with NameGrab – Own Your Identity!

Many of my readers know I am probably one of ReputationDefender’s largest fans.  If you have read my recent book, Google Bomb, you will completely understand why.

Back in 2003 I was attacked viciously online.  Slime balls of lies, twisted truths and much more.  In 2006 I won a landmark case with a jury verdict for damages of over $11M!  The jury sent a very clear and strong message – free speech does not condone defamation.  Be careful what you post online, it may not only haunt you later, it could cost you a bundle

After my court room victory, I felt vindicated and like a new person.  However what I didn’t realize is that all that ugly stuff online still existed. 

My next call-out was to Michael Fertik, CEO and Founder of what was, back in 2006, a small new company.  He assured me he could help me with my virtual image.  As promised, within a few months, I was back to myself both emotionally and virtually.

Since then, I have recommended these services to many people.  I receive hundreds of emails of people that are being harmed online. ReputationDefender  has grown from the few people I remember, to an entire staff of caring and dedicated people that are there to help you manage your online reputation.

For the record: I am not a spokesperson or sponsor of ReputationDefender.  I do not participate in their referral affiliate program and I have never received any gifts or money from them.  I am simply a very satisfied client.

Today they announced their latest service, NameGrab.  Here is their recent press release.  I am confident this is another fantastic asset to their growing and successful business.  Read on!

RepDefReputationDefender Launches Online Identity Management Service

NameGrab Allows Users to Control and Protect Their Names NameGrabAcross the Web, Dominate Search Results and Promote Their Personal Brands Online

REDWOOD CITY, CA–(Marketwire – November 16, 2009) – ReputationDefender, the leading comprehensive online reputation and privacy management company, today introduced NameGrab, a new service that allows users to control their online identities and promote their personal brands online. NameGrab’s proprietary technology automates the process of reserving your name across hundreds of social networking sites, thus ensuring both that search results produce the ‘real you’ and that your personal brand is accurately reflected online.

In today’s search-dominated world, your high-quality online identity has never been more crucial. NameGrab provides the tools to help you proactively secure that identity by claiming the most important social profiles on the Web on your behalf. Using NameGrab’s innovative technology, you can now:

–  Control and protect your name across the Web;
–  Own your name on hundreds of social networking sites, including
    Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter;
–  Prevent imposters from posing as you online;
–  Dominate search results for your name; and
–  Ensure that people find the real you.

“It’s impossible to overstate the importance of protecting your good name on the Internet. By gaining control over your brand and image across social networking sites, you can ensure that friends, colleagues and potential customers using these powerful online properties can easily find the real you and not someone else,” said Michael Fertik, CEO and founder of ReputationDefender. “NameGrab is ideal for anyone with a presence online — new college graduates, job hunters, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and realtors who use the Web for new client leads. NameGrab is the only service that makes reserving and managing your name across social networking sites truly effortless — ultimately putting control of your name back in your own hands, where it belongs.”

NameGrab is also available for businesses looking to improve customer connectivity and efficiently manage their online footprints. NameGrab provides access to all registered usernames and passwords within one convenient, secure location, limiting excess email, and allowing users to easily manage which profiles need content and be alerted to the latest social networks and new profile availability. For more information on NameGrab, please visit:

About ReputationDefender

ReputationDefender is the world’s only comprehensive online reputation and privacy management company. Through its suite of services, including MyReputation(SM), MyEdge(SM), MyChild(SM), and MyPrivacy(SM), ReputationDefender helps its customers manage and protect their online information. ReputationDefender also helps customers promote themselves and their businesses online. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, ReputationDefender serves customers in over 40 countries and has been featured in Washington Post and Forbes cover stories, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Follow ReputationDefender on Twitter @RepDef

Visit ReputationDefenderBlog and get involved with the conversation and chatter!