For people who work for themselves under their own names or with their names closely tied to their business, for small companies, partnerships, artisans, agents, entrepreneurs — any business person whose personal name is as important as the business name might to want to find out what the Internet knows about you.
Online, you have two reputations, one with friends, colleagues and customers, and one with the search engines and other machines that control the Internet. Often, these don’t coincide.
Everyone should be concerned for their own personal brand name online. Anyone applying for a job or a loan. Anyone who pitches clients, investors or partners. And especially for people who do business under their own name, there’s little default separation between personal and professional reputation online. (Unless you know how to design it that way).
The digital “fingerprints” about you online can cause you problems with employers, partners, lenders and others. Sometimes, it’s what you’ve put on your own (probably multiple) pages and profiles that can nail you. Other times, it’s what others have said about you.
Some content may appear to disappear from the “surface”… but it’ll remain visible to search engines and other machines online. So, depending on what and where it is, it may be visible for a short time. Or until the end of time.
With more people working, studying, interacting (and dating and partying) globally, it’s critical to take control of your digital reputation – globally.