A recent ruling of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg made it possible for users to ask search engines to remove links to information that might reflect badly on their personal reputations. According to this article from The New York Times, Google and other search engines could “forget” such information after a period of time, if they are requested to. While this ruling applies to the EU rather than to the US, it does generate some examination regarding our rights as citizens.
One reason for this is most people use the Internet for research. This is especially true if you’re job hunting; you use the Internet to learn about your prospective employer, and it’s a good bet that your prospective employer’s HR department is using the Internet to find out about you.
In the United States, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and press. Therefore, it doesn’t seem likely that the US Supreme Court will be following in the EU’s footsteps. So how can you safeguard your privacy? And what about protecting your business’s reputation online?
4 Ways to Protect Your Reputation Online
The responsibility to protect your privacy and reputation falls squarely on your own shoulders. While there are things we probably all wish we could un-say or delete from someone’s memory of us, it’s basically not possible— especially for the Internet. Although you may be able to remove embarrassing pictures and comments from your Facebook wall, you may not be able to undo all of the damage. That leads us to the first rule in safeguarding your privacy online: don’t post yourself being stupid.
Let’s discuss all four steps in detail.
There’s an old saying that if you want something done right you have to do yourself. When it comes to protecting your online privacy and reputation, that’s true.