Protecting Your Online Presence, Pt. II

Yesterday we talked about Facebook and privacy settings. Today, I want to mention a few other sites people may want to think about as more and more of our lives ends up in the public domain. Being proactive about managing your online presence can protect you down the road when you end up testifying in court, so while some of this may seem over the top, you can never fully anticipate what might come up down the road.

Many people are using Flickr as a way to share photos, and again, this isn’t a post to tell you to knock it off. However, like Facebook, you have the ability to set some limits with who has access to personal information, and that’s a good idea. You can protect your profile information by engaging the built in privacy settings found here. You can also limit who has access to your posted photos with Flickr’s default Privacy Settings, as seen below:

Picture 1

LinkedIn is another site a lot of people have embraced. Check out this article on CIO that provides a great overview of their privacy settings.

But protecting your online presence isn’t just privacy settings and social networking sites; it’s also monitoring what’s out there about you. If you’ve taught at conferences, you may have handouts floating around (even really old ones with outdated practices or policies). There may be articles that quote you; court case summaries; meeting minutes–you name it. A lot goes online these days. Basic Google searches are a great idea. Everybody should google themselves at some point (I usually do before going to court just to see what comes up early in the returns). You can also sign up for Google Alerts to tell you when your name comes up,  particularly in blogs (I’ve had a couple of defense guys butcher the premise of my testimony in a case, which prompted me to sign up for alerts of my own). If your name is likely to be misspelled (as mine is) make sure your alert is set up to catch common misspellings, as well.

And now that speaking in 140 characters or less is the thing to do, don’t forget that you can search Twitter. As you would on Google, you can also set up alerts to monitor when your name is mentioned or search previous mentions. There are several ways to do this; I like Tweetscan:

Picture 3

Are there things you’re doing to protect yourself or at least keep up with what’s out there about you? Let us know. Always looking for more tips on the subject…

[Protecting Your Online Presence, Pt. I]