How to evade, fix your negative reputation on web

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Washington, Jan 12 (ANI): Just one negative comment on you on the web may be enough to cost you your job, and to evade such an impact, an expert has now given tips on how to avoid and repair comments that could tarnish your internet image.

According to estimates, over 70 percent of employers do a Web search on job applicants as part of their hiring procedures, and more than 50 percent of them confess that they do not prefer applicants who are found to have negative information about them online.

But now, Michael Fertik, founder of ReputationDefender.com, offered some advice on how to avoid chances of such rejection.

Safeguarding your online reputation is "as important as your credit score nowadays. Every life transaction that you have, whether you're looking for a job, you're looking for romance, you're looking for a friend - people are gonna look you up on the Web and make conclusions based on what they find," CBS News quoted Fertik as telling substitute co-anchor Seth Doane on the Early Show Saturday Edition.

He added: "One random, idiosyncratic piece of content about you on the Web could dominate your Google results forever. It's such an issue: It affects people who are undeserving, people who are sort of using bad judgment, all kinds of different people."

Fertik said that taking a legal action could not turn out to be the best solution for the problem.

He added: "The law hasn't caught up yet with privacy. The Internet has really changed the privacy landscape in a big way and the law hasn't yet caught up with it. It's lagging behind, so far. You have to be on top of your (online) reputation. It's not about narcissism. It's about your personal brand. Especially in a down economy, people are looking you up, they're making decisions. They're denying you a job unless they find something really good about you on the Web."

He offered three key pieces of advice-firstly, never let anyone set up your reputation online. Establish yourself online to create a clear and positive image of you. Don't wait for someone else to destroy it.He advised people to use what he calls "Google insurance": Create a profile on a social networking site like Facebook that's positive and tasteful. Claim the real estate on your name.

Secondly, you have to take the initiative of finding out if there's a problem with your online reputation. Constantly monitor the Web. Search for full names, usernames, etc. Go deep into the Internet to Web sites that aren't indexed by Google

"The deep Web - Facebook, MySpace, the pages where the content really starts to generate and become problematic. Monitor yourself assiduously," Fertik told Doane.

And lastly, don't let the negative content linger on the web for a long time, for there are chances of it to spread and archived. If you see a problem, deal with it quickly. First try and solve the problem by telling people to stop and not via lawyers. In case you need professional help, companies such as ReputationDefender are available.

Fertik said: "Nip it in the bud before it spreads and gets mirrored and replicated. If you can't do it, you want to hire the pros."

If the service, available for 10 dollars per month, finds something bad about a person, they try to put more positive things on the web in order to neutralise the negative effect.

"Sometimes, what we do is, we overwhelm the 'bad' with good to make sure that when people look you up, they see what you want them to see, they see your good videos, not necessarily the (bad ones)," said Fertik. (ANI)

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