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Manage Your Online Reputation If you’ve already been through the Search section of the site, you know what information is online about you.

Now it is time to start managing your reputation by cleaning up your existing content and dealing with any negative content you found.

In the Manage Existing Content section, you’ll learn how to deal with any negative content you found (decide whether to clean it up or bury it).

You’ll also learn how to:

  1. List the sites where you have profiles.
  2. Get a quality portrait photograph.
  3. Create a biography.

Knowing exactly what type of positive content to put online and where to put it will show hiring managers, customers, and anyone else who is looking that value your reputation, and it will help prevent it from being compromised if you ever find yourself in a situation where your identity has been compromised and a flood of negative content gets posted online.

In the Create New Content section you’ll discover the many places you can create new positive reputation-enhancing content. On these pages, you’ll learn how to:

  1. Get and set up a Gmail account.
  2. Build your own website.
  3. Write a blog.
  4. Join/manage Facebook.
  5. Join LinkedIn.
  6. Join Twitter.
  7. Join other networking sites.
  8. Comment online.
  9. Share your work.
  10. Create profile pages.
  11. Link your sites together.
  12. Find helpful tools.

Think before you post – in fact, it is a good idea to write out what you want to post in a different software program first so you can read and re-read it before you post it. There is no hurry to comment; take time to think before you hit the send button. You’ll never regret it.

A good test for judging whether to post something online is the Rotary Club’s Four-Way test:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

The reality of our more open, networked world is that we all have to be more careful of what we say online. What you post on the Internet is as permanent as a tattoo, and it is often as hard to get rid of.

If you are posting questionable content online and think you’re somehow being anonymous, you need to think again. Unless you are a technical wizard, data tracking companies who know who you are, where you live, how many kids you have, where you shop, your credit history, and an amazing array of other things about you.

In addition, there are ways to match your real name to the pseudonyms you use on blogs, Twitter, and other online forums. New York-based has applied for a patent for the technology to do just that.