Some of you might have known me for more than 4 years as a blogger right? But I have never ever exposed to any of you my WHOLE real identity online to all of you. My blog is read by people from all walks of life all over the world; I had around 92,000 people following me on Twitter; I played a lot in the "virtual" playground; I posted hundreds of photos about my personal life; but I have never ever revealed who I really am as a person. You think you know me...but you don't...
Are your reputation at stake online?
I won't be telling you where I am living; hence I have never ever foursquared about my sanctuary-home. There is no way I am going to tell you where I am working, let alone telling you my job. Most of you only know me by my nickname-Tekkaus. The most you will be able to trace from my online trails is my real name-Christopher Lay, and that's it. Nothing more. I am not going to let you know everything. That is why I describe myself as an enigma. :p
How about you? Are you being too open with your virtual self? So much so that people know your full name and your personal details that they shouldn't know? Do you often reveal about where your home is via foursquare? Or you like to tell people where you are working in? Worse still...do you love to badmouth your boss, company or clients online? If your answers to most of the questions above are yes...your safety and reputation are at stake. We have to understand that our virtual life is now intimately connected to our real life.
Yes. The more connected your life is to the internet, the easier it is for your reputation to be at stake. I understand that all of us want our very own freedom of speech. However...that freedom of speech, if adversely abused will bring untold damages to your life. Imagine you lost your job because of some tweets or your postings on Facebook. Is it worth it? Definitely not right? Worse still your future employer might be checking about you (and your reputation) online before they actually hire you.
On the other hand, what if someone is trying to tarnish your reputation online? What if your colleagues defame you in the internet by posting lies and fabricating untrue stories about you? What if your competitors in business dirty their hands to sully your good names in the internet? It's virtually impossible for you to detect all the slanders and lies about you UNLESS you have a reliable online reputation management which can help to maintain you or your company's good name.
How you "appear" on the internet is very important.
So far the best online reputation management company I have personally tried is Reputation.com. It will scourge the internet, looking for existing articles, tweets, post etc. about YOU especially ones which will damage your reputation. It will even find any exposed personal info of yours on the internet. Best of all you will be alerted once a new post, tweet, article (be it good or bad) about you appear on the internet. So it is literally like your very own lawyer looking out for you. Cool aye?
Last but not least, I strongly advise all my friends who are reading this right now too be extra careful with whatever you are doing or saying right now, especially on the internet. People are always watching at you! Remember that more often than not, your virtual life reflects your real life and not the other way round anymore. Likewise if your reputation is being tarnished online, deal with it immediately. If possible find an expert to safeguard you.
So is your reputation at stake online?