Today Show: Protecting Your Reputation Online
Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media, believes that it’s a good idea to Google yourself. She said that it’s something your employer will do, so you might want to get on and see what is really out there. That way, if there is something compromising, you aren’t blindsided later.
For people that have a very common name, like John Smith, you probably won’t get a lot of results that are specific to you. All the more reason to build your internet presence and make you the first name on the John Smith list. But if your first name is Hoda, you might be the first one that comes up.
Today: Can You Get Rid of A Photo on Google?
Say you are out at a party and a friend snaps an unfriendly photo of you. Not only are they getting defriended, but now you have to live with an embarrassing photo at the top of Google image search. Depending on your situation, those things can be pushed down and hidden. Companies like Reputation.com are able to mess with settings and get you in the clear for a large fee. Another option, said Zuckerberg, is to blog more and put more links in your Twitter to get the photos to slide to the bottom.
Being careful is the best option. You never know who is standing next to you or writing about you online. If you’re worried about a “digital doppleganger,” or someone you share a name with, try and use a middle initial or name to set yourself apart.
Today Show: Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft
In the technology age, nothing is more serious than identity theft. You or your kids could be at risk just from doing simple tasks online, like paying bills. In fact, home invasion burglars can also steal you identity and you’d never even know it! During a home break-in, a thief can snap cell phone pictures of IRS tax documents and social security cards. You wouldn’t think they could get that info because the originals are still in your home. Never leave confidential data and papers where they can be easily reached.
When someone steals your identity by getting important documents in this way, it can take a few months before you know that it’s happened. They have to open accounts and register for cards. The worst part is that it can also take years to get your identity back to where it was. Your credit rating is done and you are locked up.
Today: How Criminals Steal Through Craigslist
Another new way that thieves are getting your money and identity is by roping you in to renting property. They post a picture of a home they have nothing to do with online, such as a vacation home by the beach. Then, you rent it and they steal your money and identity through down payments and background checks.
To beat their system, never wire transfer money. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Pay with a check, established transfer service or credit card. They are more protected and it will be easier to recover your losses. Also, Google the phone number they give you. If it’s unlisted, there is a reason why.
Today: Other Ways Criminals Steal Your Identity
- Don’t post photos while you are still on vacation. People will find them, see that your home is empty and come to rob you.
- Getting on the do-not-call list. Go to donotcall.gov. If someone calls you and says they want to help you get on the do-not-call list, they most likely want to steal your identity.
- Internet shopping. Make sure you are going to a reputable company.