Have you Googled yourself lately?
I try to Google myself once a month to see what search results pop up if people are checking me out. Today when I did that, the usual results popped up, but then I saw an article that was about five years old -- a great reminder of how permanent our digital identities can be. Below are some quick tips to help you manage your digital identity.
1.) Put a reminder in your calendar to Google yourself each month and scan the first five to 10 pages of search results so that you always know what people are seeing if they search for you online.
2.) Set up a Google Alert for your name -- it’s a free tool from Google and you get emails when your name pops up in search results.
3.) Purchase your name as a domain name in all variations (personal and company).
4.) Use your full name as your user name on social networking sites such as Flickr, YouTube, Amazon, Twitter and, yes, Work It, Mom! (Oops, need to follow my own advice!)
5.) Create a blog with your name or company name in the URL so that you can post your own messages frequently.
6.) Post thoughtful comments on blogs you read frequently.
And always remember that whatever you put online could remain there for a long time. If you're desperate to have that unfortunate drunken photo stop following you, you can look into online reputation management services that work with you to build a positive digital identity.