When a villain openly attacks, it’s highly unlikely that rescue will arrive at that moment of desperate need–and that includes a rescue by our Super Prez Barack Obama.
As I write, a computer virus is building a head of steam that promises to hit many businesses–and they may never see it coming. Almost all companies run anti-virus software to prevent their networks from being “hacked”. Today, the eyes of the IT world are glued on global computer networks, waiting to see what effect the Conficker virus will have on up to 15 million computers that may have been infected since last autumn. Conficker finds vulnerable computers and automatically disables security services and blocks access to anti-virus websites. This is one bad worm. I define this as cyber-terrorism, would you agree?
Now, what about cyber-terrorism that defines itself as identifying vulnerable websites and disabling their ability to effectively market through ecommerce? How could this happen? Simply.
Online corporate reputation may be the most vulnerable point of impact that companies face today. While almost all businesses connected to the Internet are vigilant about anti-virus software updates, analytics and impressions, few consider what can be done to damage a corporate reputation by ensuring that routine online search results return negative, slanderous and in some cases even libelous results.
It is estimated by industry insiders that by the end of 2010, criminals will routinely use the Internet to actually extort payments from companies. Nonpayment could result in a type of cyber-terrorism that few have considered. Alright, alright, you say. This is a far-fetched idea, a kind of doomsday scenario. The question for consideration is this: If you knew it was coming, what–if anything–would you do about it?
There is one simple answer. Get a firm grip on your company’s online reputation. Persistent monitoring and intervention is the only current solution that I am aware of. The best way to counteract negative postings is to do it with positive information that has greater credibility. Consistently scanning and evaluating for online reputation attacks is the proactive approach of defense.
Absent Homeland Security, we common people cannot look to SuperPrez for our solution. We must protect and defend ourselves in the real world. There is no bailout or rescue for this type of crisis.
–Steven Wyer, Reputation Advocate
Cur-ren-cy [kur–uhn-see] The fact of being widely accepted and circulated from person to person. (Source: dictionary.com)
If I am reading this definition correctly, then one of the meanings of currency has to do with a fact being widely accepted from person to person. That’s what it says, right?
One general conclusion can be drawn here–people have currency. That’s right. Your reputation, the facts widely accepted about you, is currency. You can feel pretty good about that. Even if the economy is in the dumps, at least your reputation has high value. At least you have that going for you!
So now, a question. What if the information about you, the information widely held from person to person, is not fact? What if it is false, misleading information taken out of context? You get the picture. Where would such a thing happen and who could be so low? The answer is anyone and the location for these offenses is global in scope.
Each one of us has a reputation. Actually we each have two reputations. The first one is made up of the widely accepted facts about us that are known by those close to us. Friends, family and business colleagues all create our “currency”. Using this currency, we have built careers, developed friends, earned degrees and professional licenses, and built businesses that largely define the lives we live today.
There is also a second reputation, but it’s one that you don’t control. Your online reputation is not typically something that you think about, until… Until you apply for a job only to be turned down without explanation. Until you lose a friend, a client or an important contract and later find out that someone “googled” you. Until…
Here are the facts.
- Most people go online and do a search to see what can be learned before pursuing any type of relationship.
- Most people believe that the information found on the first page of that search is the most relevant, even if it isn’t accurate.
- Whatever conclusion is drawn, there will almost certainly be no attempt to verify that information with you.
By now you are probably typing your name into Google for a quick search. When you do, don’t forget your middle name, initials and nicknames. There is information out there about you. Count on it. If you have ever been mentioned in ripoffreport.com, mythreecents.com or any of the more than 100 complaints sites available for expressing opinions, you already know what this bad information can do. It can rob you of your currency.
Don’t ignore what is out there on the Internet about you. You either have to deal with it, or you will live with it. And here’s another very important fact. Once information is posted on the web it is almost impossible to get it removed. So don’t squander your currency.
Find out what has been said about you and then research solutions to hit this problem head on. Creative solutions do exist. Click here and take a look at a few.