Reputation management is critical to your business. Just like you shred paperwork so people can't steal your personal information, don't leave a "virtual" path behind when it comes to your identity.
Reputation management is the process of tracking an entity's actions and tracking the opinions about those particular actions. Although the Internet is a great marketing tool for businesses, it's also known for spreading rumors and scandal.
Someone "posing" as you could ruin your reputation VERY quickly. That's why it's important to stay on top of what people are saying about you online AND if people are claiming to be YOU!
Unfortunately, cyber crimes are on the rise. Not only could your reputation be tarnished but even worse, your company could be fiscally ruined. However, you can take pro-active steps to make sure identity theft doesn't happen to you and your company.
Register company accounts using both your name and company name on social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo, Ryze, MySpace, etc. Even if you never use these accounts, you take your name/company name off the market so thieves can't swipe your identity.
Create Google and Yahoo profiles under your name/company. By creating "official" profiles on search engines, it also makes it easier for your clients/customers to find you. Make sure to include your picture. If a fake account is set up by someone else, your clients/customers will know you're the real deal when they search for you and find your picture!
Check out search engines to see what people are saying about your or if people are claiming to be you. This is a great way to find out if cyber bandits are stealing your content and posting them on their sites without your permission!
Protect yourself from cyber hackers. This sounds simple but sometimes people don't secure their personal/company information on the Internet. It's very easy for hackers to swipe information credit card and Social Security numbers, etc and pose as a representative from your company.
Respond quickly to negative comments/attacks on blogs and discussion forums. If a disgruntled customer is posing as you it could happen! That's WHY it's really important to monitor your online reputation on a regular basis!
Create a strong, positive online presence by participating in online discussion forums, social networking sites, blogs, review sites and by submitting articles. If you already have a good reputation built online and an impostor comes along, your established online reputation will speak volumes.