The introduction of the Internet has brought with it a new technological age where people are connected all the time. Today, children in Tokyo can comment on videos posted by children in Mexico City and these comments can be reviewed by children in Moscow. Or you can sell your car to a buyer half-way across the country without ever meeting him. Or you can become a Youtube start by creating fun and entertaining videos about what you thought was a mundane life. These and dozens of other amazing business and social activities have sprung up because of the Internet being at the center of our lives today. But just as no new powerful thing has only a good side, the Internet has also created a foundation for negative activities. Some of these activities are aimed at tricking unsuspecting consumers out of their money or identity. Crooks can hide in faraway places and use their computers to exact all sorts of financial carnage on businesses and individuals. This has created a thriving business for online security software and consultants. And people can have their livelihoods and reputations ruined or damaged because of the power of the Internet. This has created a flourishing business for companies who specialize in internet reputation repair.
For something to need repair, it must first be broken. So how does one’s Internet reputation get broken? A weakness in the design of the Internet is that anyone can put information on it and if they can find a way to effectively market this information, it will be disseminated around the world as fast as light. There are no regulations for what can be said or how things need to be verified before they get disseminated, there is only the threat that if you slander someone, that person may come after you. So if someone is angry about information spread about them, they must file a suit and each suit is handled on a case by case basis. By the time it gets to a court, the information has already been viewed by millions. Here are some examples of how negative information gets spread on the Internet:
Someone is angry at you and wants to hurt you. Today one of the ways that an angry person can strike out at you is by going online and spreading negative information about you. With access to literally millions of people via social networks and other types of popular sites, someone can create a salacious story about you and in no time, it has gone viral and gotten in front of millions of eyes. Many of those seeing it may be colleagues, families and employers causing you all sorts of embarrassment and potential harm to your name and livelihood. This happens on the Internet all around the world on a daily basis.
You get involved in a negative situation and news outlet gets hold of it. The news organizations used to be limited to several who had journalistic integrity which meant they would not publish stories that would harm someone until facts were verified and even then there was weight given to certain factors around the story that might ultimately mean they would not publish it. With the Internet those days are long gone. Today anyone can become a news organization just by saying they are and they can start putting out information to the public. Because websites are so cheap to create you can visit these sites and think there are a hundred people working for this “news organization” when in fact it is one person sitting in a bedroom and aggregating stories around from the web. Their goal is not to provide people with good news, it is to get advertisers to pay them lots of money to advertise on their site. And they do this by attracting readers with outrageous stories. There have no interest in making sure a story is real or in protecting those who might be hurt if the story is not true or some of the facts are incorrect. If this “news organization” gets challenged for their tactics, they simply shut down and declare bankruptcy, meanwhile your reputation has been ruined.
This is why online reputation repair companies have become so popular. They work to protect your reputation against those who want to damage it. Everyone from politicians, to celebrities, to business leaders, to every day hard working people know how valuable their name is and many know they must be proactive in protecting it. They also know that these companies can often spot a problem before it becomes one. It also puts people on notice that you are serious about your reputation. If you are, you might consider contacting one.