Did you ever join a social network and never went back? Did you know there is probably outdated information about you or your business floating out there on the web?
Have you Google your name or your business lately and browsed through the results beyond the first page? How many people are sharing your name?
This Monday I received an email from Plaxo, a network I joined a few years ago. I completely forgot it existed and honestly, the only thing I remember about it is all the annoying emails reminding me to invite my friends to join (so we can all be annoyed…).
My first thought was that Plaxo must be trying to retain its last few users and it’s about to die. I got to admit it was a nice surprise to see how it has evolve into a streaming of all your activity coming from different social networks and it has a very nice and clean look.
I was also surprised to see old connections with people that I no longer engage with on a daily basis and people I’m still very much in contact with. The problem is that my profile is displaying outdated information about what I do as well as contacts, websites and so on. The question is, what if one of these old connections wanted to contact me for any reason? Networking takes time…
Here are 5 tips to secure your web identity:
1. Find old accounts in social sites such as MySpace, Facebook, etc. and either update your profile or cancel the account if you don’t wish to keep it.
2. If you think you might use some of the popular social sites to promote yourself or your business any time soon, create an account and secure your name.
3. Create a Google Profile. It’s a new feature the search service offers to help build your identity. When the user searches your name, Google will display these profiles in the results.
4. Store private information such as login/password in a secure place. You might think you don’t need them right now, but sooner or later you will be promoting your products/services online.
5. Link your accounts. If you are currently using 2 or more social sites, see if you can link them together and share information.
If you haven’t started using the Internet as a way of marketing for your products or services, I can assure that you will sooner than you think. In the mean time, protect your identity.
Should you check out Plaxo? I think you should, just don’t annoy your friends with it… I kept it, it has been updated and it’s connected with all my other profiles.