May 28, 2019

In today’s world, no one is safe from their reputation taking a major hit. Think of all the people who have been mobbed on Twitter for saying the “wrong” thing. Think of the people who have posted things they really shouldn’t have posted on Facebook, leading to them losing their jobs.

But you don’t have to make a massive mistake to cause damage to your reputation. People can easily find information about you online, and no one is responsible for cleaning up that information but you.

If you want to find out what information is searchable about you online, you can start with a free background check which you can find at this site. Then take a look at what’s on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts. Google yourself and see what the top search results are.

Still, you may end up missing a thing here or there. The internet has been around for decades now, and if you’re like me, you’ve been through many phases during that time, including the stupidity of your youth.

Take the following into account.

Reverse image searches are dangerous

So you thought it was a good idea to post a throwback Thursday pic of you from fifteen years ago? It might get you into more trouble than your dorky outfit is worth. Reverse image search is incredibly easy, and chances are you don’t remember everywhere you’ve used certain images over the past twenty or so years. A reverse image search of one of your old photos might take someone to your MySpace page. Or it might take them somewhere far more compromising.

There’s not necessarily any shame in having used certain sites or services in the past, but you still want to keep that stuff private. An innocent picture of you having fun with your friends might lead someone to images you don’t want just anyone to see!

If you’re concerned about a potential photo, do a reverse image search yourself and see if you’re okay with what comes up.

Remember dating sites or apps

What you posted on a dating site or app isn’t necessarily problematic. However, it too is a private matter and one that should be kept away from prying eyes. Furthermore, you may have sent photos or videos or compromising texts to people over a dating app or website. They probably don’t know who you are anymore, but if they somehow remember you or find out, they could use those things against you. Removing your presence from dating sites and apps once you no longer use them is prudent. It won’t delete messages you sent over other platforms or remove compromising material from other people’s phones, but it does make it more difficult to track these messages back to you.

Clean up your emails

If someone’s bad email management could lose her a presidential election, there are probably things in your archive that can be used against you. Maybe you made a joke in poor taste to a friend a few years ago. Maybe you sent or received important business emails that are supposed to be confidential.

Email hacks are all-too-common, and the last thing you want is your worst emails exposed. Gmail probably has thousands of your emails from the last fourteen years. Make sure they’re safe, and that the worst ones are gone!

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