Internet Tips: Safeguard Your Reputation While Socially Networking

Your Online Demeanor

First, consider your online image: Does your blog, MySpace, or Facebook page delve into areas that you may not want to have to explain later on? (Sex-, drug-, and booze-related topics, for example, could come back to haunt their authors.) Does your personal e-mail address contain unprofessional or suggestive terms? Thanks to Google's cache and the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (see Figure 1

Figure 1: Personal pages remain in the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine long after they're deleted.
), some of the online tracks people leave today (even as a lark) will remain fresh for decades to come.

Profiles on sites like MySpace, Facebook, and even Friendster probably won't show up in a search engine query, but they will appear when members of those services track you down. So expect current and future employers, paramours, and other gumshoes to be determined enough to find your online contributions. Remove potentially embarrassing photos and posts to make your wild years less likely to come back and haunt you.

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