by Steven Skrzypek, Content Creation Specialist

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
– Murphy’s Law

Protecting your online reputation is a relatively new concept. A seemingly insignificant instance can cause a surprising amount of damage, and all too often the situation is completely out of your hands.

One good example comes from the campus of my alma mater. The annual spring festival was an event students looked forward to all winter. The school had always known that their festival offered, ahem, intoxicating opportunities, but let it slide. That is, until a generation of hashtag happy students decided to share their extracurricular activities with the entire world. Unwanted buzz accumulated and the school was cast in a negative light throughout online media. Two weeks later the school decided to pull the plug on the 45­ year ­old tradition. While the reputation of the school was put in jeopardy by no direct action of their own, the scandal was bad enough to elicit a reaction.

It’s not just social media over ­sharing that can ruin an online reputation. Fraud, biased press coverage, disgruntled former employees, bitter customers, and unwarranted legal issues are all uncontrollable factors that does not forget.

All eyes on you.

Any interaction on the Internet can be archived and shared; and anything can be said with little to no consequence. Just as my former classmates should have anticipated that faculty could see their controversial pictures, you should anticipate those anonymous negative reviews, biased reporters, and the scourge that is the Internet Troll. If you’re not paying attention, things can get out of control quickly.

There are ways to protect your online reputation. If we’re talking about personal accounts, enable all privacy settings so what you say and post is not in public view. For businesses, only contribute content relevant to professional interest and never instigate an argument on an open platform. A nasty comment can be deleted from a business profile; but if you antagonize a Troll, screenshots and shares are inevitable. It takes one instance to put your reputation at risk and even the best and brightest are susceptible to a momentary lapse in judgment. If you find yourself facing an online reputation problem, the best thing to do is keep calm and get expert help. Contact us and let’s talk about how we can improve your online presence so you can breathe easy again.