Monday, 10 March 2014

Wayne Denner - Do we really think about or pay attention to our Online Reputation?

Sadly NO! At least we have not begun to take the role of Protecting our Online Reputation seriously. But here’s the thing - once it goes online.. it stays online.

It’s not that it’s difficult to remove. It’s near impossible.

Therefore, Online Reputation, which yours truly has been banging on about on Twitter and Facebook, is serious, and it needs your attention RIGHT NOW.

But Wayne stop being over dramatic. Chill. How could a simple tweet or a Facebook post get me in trouble? Well it can, it does and it may cost you some hard earned $$. $105,000 to be exact in the case of former student of NSW School Andrew Farley who was ordered to pay this amount for “compensatory and aggravated damages” for making false allegations about music teacher Christine Mickle on Twitter & Facebook.   

The Judge said the comments had a ‘devastating effect’ on the popular teacher who immediately took sick leave and only returned to work on a limited basis last year.

CAUTION - Be careful what you post and say online. The thing is platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have amazing reach, which is always public and sometimes global. Defamatory comments made on Social media can spread very fast by simply retweeting something on twitter. If found to be untrue, or defamatory this can land you in seriously hot water. ‘But seriously Wayne, it was just a bitta craic I did’nt mean to offend anyone” Pity you retweeted it and republished the comment as now you’re liable.
How can I protect myself?
The thing is, if you don’t want your message appearing on a global billboard don’t post it online. Many people still don’t think they have a problem with their Online Reputation when in fact they do – many of us have no idea of the content which is out in the Interwebs about us or content which others have created about us which we have no idea about. This is the worrying part. 
So here’s what you can do 
  • Set up a Google Alert or Talk Walker Alerts to monitor the Interwebs for any new content about your name.
  • Be careful what you say on Twitter, Facebook and Social Networks. Remember my STOP|THINK|POST approach
  • Get down with YOUR Privacy settings – Tweak and check these on a regular basis. Remember they differ from platform to platform. Make sure you update these on Smartphones and Tablet devices.
  • Be careful with Apps which claim to offer texts and images which vanish. Once you click Send you lose control of this information and where your information can end up.
  • Create positive content to counteract any negative results which may be floating about. 
Now think about this: What we do today and everyday is recorded and stored without any expiration date or delete button. Something posted as a Teen online or via social networks may still be still kicking around and accessible and may come back to haunt you when applying for your first job or perhaps getting into University. This is the first generation of young people to have to think about this. And the first generation of parents to worry about it too.
Now is the time to start thinking about your Online Reputation and managing your digital footprint. Don’t let it limit your opportunities or land you on the wrong side of the law as a result of some foolish thing you’ve said online.
Online Reputation Matters…. Look after yours.
Follow me on Twitter @waynedenner
[Disclaimer: None of this amounts to legal advice. If this is what you require be sure to consider instructing a solicitor]

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