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Spring cleaning your online pesence

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Christy Skojec Taylor

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By CHRISTY SKOJEC TAYLOR
Business Columnist

Monday, September 18, 2017

In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your online reputation.

Just like your home or office, your online presence needs a spring cleaning to get rid of old unwanted items, brush the dust off what’s valuable, and make sure there are no surprises lurking in places you don’t see every day.

A Spring Cleaning Checklist

1. Use Google Incognito to see what other people see of your identity online. If you search for your name using a normal Google search, it’s more likely to bring back results based on the sites you frequently visit. Incognito shows you a more objective, unfiltered view when you search your name.

2. Be sure to search for your name in conjunction with all commonly used social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and especially LinkedIn. If you run a business, include Yelp, YP, and popular review sites for your industry.

3. If you see any negatives, the best way to approach them depends on the platform. For example, you can:

■ Untag your name from unflattering or silly photos or posts on Facebook .

■ Request that a friend remove content from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that was acceptable years ago, but now feels embarrassing.

■ Make sure your job description and level of experience are up to date on LinkedIn.

■ If you discover someone (such as a former disgruntled employee or an unethical competitor) has maliciously set up fake profiles to defame you online, the website Lifehacker has helpful tips for addressing this.

Don’t Wait for Spring to Roll Around

While you don’t need to do your spring cleaning every day, there are certain daily steps you can take to stay on top of your online presence:

■ Set up Google Alerts so you will know if anything shows up on the internet with your name on it.

■ Check your Facebook privacy settings so your personal family moments won’t be shared publicly unless you choose that option.

■ Set up notifications for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, so you will know if someone comments on your posts, mentions your username, endorses you or recommends you online.

Your online footprint and reputation play an increasingly important role in determining your personal and professional success. Don’t take them for granted and find out today what’s being said about you or your business.

Christy Skojec Taylor is co-owner of Express Employment Professionals in Rocky Mount.

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