Do you think before you post on social networking sites? Many of us don't, but its worth bearing in mind that posting risqué content could be damaging your online reputation. We've put together 13 simple steps that can help you improve your reputation, should it need it.
12. Monitoring is the least you can do
"On the web, things happen so fast now. You could be a hero on the Friday and by Monday your name could be mud. You have to be very careful about how fast information can move on the Internet and keep a check," said Carson.
The IT staffing firm also advised signing up for tracking services like Google alerts to receive an email notification every time your name is mentioned online, and BlogPulse or Technorati track online conversations about you or your sites.
"I'm a big fan of monitoring and keeping track of what's going on, even if you don't take part, at least you know what's happening for when you do want to jump in or promote yourself a bit more," said Carson.
13. Remain cautious...and practice discretion
"My number one tip for people using social technologies in the world out there today is to be cognitive of the fact that when you publish or openly speak out in the web space, you are speaking to the entire world and therefore what words you put down will be your legacy and tracked and tied back to you," said Chuck Hamilton, virtual learning programme manager for IBM.
"In my view as an IBM professional, I'm an IBM professional whether I'm in the workplace or external. I have to always maintain that level of professionalism. If you don't, I think you're opening yourself up to criticism and misinterpretation of your ideas and points of view," he said. Guidelines for IBM professionals became publicly available last year.
"Today's web crosses the line between personal and professional and people need to bear that in mind," reminded Binhammer.
"People don't go running down the street screaming in the middle of the day when they're out for lunch at work. I wouldn't do that on the web either. If you're out in front of your office building, all of a sudden drinking and having a great time and jumping up and down, people are going to talk, right?"
"We need to be aware that the internet does not forget," advised IT manager at IT World Canada, Matt Panchalingam. "With Google, and the internet time machine before that, everything is cached unless the webmaster specifically codes their site to not be indexed by Google...anything you ever posted on the internet can be found forever."