Right now, everyone is using Google to find out about job candidates and business partners. For example, did you know that 75% of HR departments are now required to look up prospective hires online? If you want that dream opportunity, cleaning up your online life is essential.
Even if you posted something five years ago, it could still be uncovered today. You need to clean up your online life or it could come back to bite you later. Therefore, today, we’re sharing some ways you can clean up your online life.
Delete Anything Negative You Posted
Go through any content on your website or your social media profiles and delete anything you posted that may be viewed as negative.
That includes dirty jokes and controversial comments. You might think you have a right to free speech, but if you’re a political activist or you have strong opinions someone may decide not to deal with you because of it. It’s a hard reality, but one you must accept.
Don’t Forget to Go Through Your Comment and Reaction History
Cleaning up your online life is not just about cleaning up the things you posted. The circles you move in can be just as bad. For example, if you’re the sort of person who ‘Likes’ a certain controversial post that can get back to people.
Facebook, for example, will show you what your friends reacted to. People who search for your Facebook profile will be able to see the same things.
But can’t you just adjust your privacy settings?
That used to be the case, but big companies are increasingly demanding that candidates show them their profiles so they can be inspected. As unethical as it may be, it does happen.
So make sure that you’re not using your main ‘Public’ social media account to comment on controversial issues.
Deal with Negative Reviews about You
Sometimes you may find that someone has trashed you online because of a previous relationship. This is especially the case if you’ve done business online. A quick Google search or setting up a Google Alerts for your name will reveal whether someone has trashed you online.
What can you do in this situation?
On social media, you can simply reply to that review and explain your side of the story. It shows you care and that you want to do something to rectify the situation. This is good damage control.
Sometimes a review may be defamatory. In that case, you can use the appeals process of the website to have the offending comments removed. Most sites will act fast to avoid potential legal action themselves.
The Best Data is No Data
The smartest people simply limit the amount of data available on them. They may use burner accounts on social media and public accounts they show to employees and their business partners.
Just be aware of what you’re posting online so there’s a lesser likelihood of anything compromising appearing.
Last Word – Keeping it Clean
Cleaning up your online life is something that should be done regularly. You can find a resolution for the mistakes of the past, even if only in the form of the ‘Delete’ button. But going forward you should change your behavior.
Think before you post. Try to look at it from the perspective of an employer.