It is important that you take early warning steps or pre warning steps to protect your on line reputation. There is no one out there that is going to do it for you. Believe me, Google and the like, will do nothing to protect you against anything, even if you can find out where to lay a complaint. The thing I find with most programs of this sort, the big large bumbling conglomerates is that they really can’t be bothered with the public and their complaints. With the result, they hide the complaint lobby in the basement and when you wander down into those dungeons you hit a brick wall of answers that lead no where. There are means to try to combat this, but they need to be put in place early and in case not after the fact.
Good news doesn’t sell newspapers. It’s the bad news that sells both the press, the media and the public devour.
Steps you can take to guard your reputation
It’s a good idea to register every variation of your own name as web property. It is not difficult and should cost you no more than about $100 per annum but at least no one else can then use them. If you already own a hosting this should cost you no more as they can be add on’s. Build a little website on each and just leave them there to be indexed and found. If you want you can even monetise them for you to earn a small income from them, so they pay their way.
Even if you don’t plan to do anything with it, register yourself and your full name on Facebook Linked in Twitter, MySpace and Friendster as well as any other you might think of. This prevents anyone else from using your name and email address.
Should a complaint arise, make sure you are ready to handle it and do it quickly with facts to back you up. Be aware that you will not get help from anyone, unless there is copyright involved. If you can claim copyright Google will act although it might take weeks. Moral here is copyright everything you do: Even if it is poorman’s copyright.
You need to react fast and make sure you go direct to influential people in the sphere of the problem be it the CEO or whoever. There are many people on the internet and in the world that have nothing better than to make trouble for others. Take the number of hacking attempts and viruses, there are on line.
There are times when you need to learn to fold
Some things need to die a natural death and really aren’t worth the bother to respond to. You need to learn to use your judgement in this. The hate emanating from another person can be caustic, but it might not be worth the drama that could ensue.
Make a policy for yourself for dealing with the project that might go wrong or clients who might be the problem. One thing I have learned there are some clients I just won’t take on. There are times when you get that vibe that this is trouble. Be sure to heed it. In my experience if that happens, trouble follows.
If you do have problems make an offer to them as a gesture but make sure you make it in writing and say it is a good will gesture so they can’t use that against you.
If a comment goes up about you put the response on your own blog. Do not use theirs. Make them come to your space. This way you can control over it, and it can’t be changed by a third party.
Be squeaky clean
Make sure there is nothing to find about you. Keep your work and your life clean. Don’t use things like Facebook to comment on and really try not to stir people up over trivial things.