Are You Alert?

The world is full of information and it is becoming more transparent and more accessible to more people every day. This technological paradigm shift enables the individual and the organizational entities to discover more about another person or item of interest or even themselves. It becomes increasingly important to, where possible, control your digital spin. When anyone can and will search for you online, your Google results or search engine results are your calling card. Therefore, you should be aware of what comes up when someone enters your name or likeness into that digital dissection and analysis computing device. Really, you should. It is important for many reasons.

From a reputational standpoint, you should care about the information that is publicly available. There are well documented cases of mistaken identity or even true events that lead to undesirable outcomes as a result of search engine results. From a safety and security standpoint, your personal information remaining private is the only bastion you have to prevent criminal harvesting of your personal data. You should care about this.

I recommend that you set up a Google Alert for your name or anything you are interested in. The minute an article containing your name pops up or information about that item you keyed an alert for shows up in the search engines, you will get notified promptly. If the information that you receive about yourself does not flatter you or in some way promote your image or agenda, a counter-strike is in order.

In my recent book, Securing the C Level, I go into great detail about the power of the network and creating a personal brand. In it I wrote, “Develop a mantra that is used enough that others associate it with you. You might set about promoting a particular expression or ideology that represents your agenda or business plan or leadership style.” I also discuss the power of information. I wrote, Taking control of the scoop may be the best approach. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense right? You are either technologically savvy enough alone or enlisting the services of professional spinsters is a prudent course of action. It is virtually impossible to put Pandora back into her box, so why not spin the story your way instead. If opinion and reputation matters, build your case just the same, broadcast your message louder, with authority! Chances are that the deluge created by your own spin cycle will drown out the one created by the opposition.”

If you do not already own one, I suggest buying a domain associated with your name and setting up a blog or personal website complete with all of the information you want to be propagated. You control the meta data, you control the publication and pictures, you even control how often search engines index the information. You possess the power to drown out information that does not fit your personal spin cycle or the image your want to portray.

Are you aware?

Article first published as Are You Alert? on Technorati.