Privacy. It is a word that is supposed to mean being by yourself physically or keeping your thoughts and emotions to yourself.
Is there any such thing as privacy these days?
Think about it. You share so much information now. Your credit card numbers are often given out over the phone or computer, or they are swiped at convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores. Marketers know so much about you and your family by your surfing habits online, what you watch on TV, and what you buy from retailers.
Speaking of going online, privacy issues are an issue there. What you share on Twitter or Facebook is not private, unless you send it as a direct message over Twitter or private message on Facebook. Even then, there are no guarantees. Witness a recent New York Times article about the David Petraeus scandal, which suggested that personal files of individuals may be at risk in the right circumstances.
What you say on blogs or forums can be fished out by someone in the future. Imagine how you might feel if you made a comment on Facebook while in college and someone referred to it three years later in a job interview.
The Internet has altered the concept of privacy by expanding the scope of information. Blogs, online forums, social media… there is no way to get away from it all these days, nor is there any way to take content at face value.
Just recently, smartphone company HTC America had to settle with the Federal Trade Commission. A Wall Street Journal report suggested that HTC did not do enough to secure privacy. With more and more people supplying photos and information about themselves through social media, that means more of a risk your material could get stolen by online piracy experts.
With the proliferation of more blogs and forums, the likelihood of finding news and information on a company or person… news that was supposed to stay private… is higher. Loose lips talk, and sources are eager to share information. Sometimes that information is not true, however, or it is compromised or garbled in a way.
What happens when online information results in a hit to a person or company’s reputation? That is when reputation management comes into play. Online companies like Reputation.com can salvage your online presence by going into high gear. Examine the Reputation.com CrunchBase profile. It will show you how much online lives can be controlled, both business and personal, with their services.
Information is disseminated at such a high speed these days that often the details come out wrong or a little jumbled up. It is not worth taking the chance of losing some of your information because online privacy has been compromised or taken out of context. Reputation-management companies, or reputation management in general, helps here by sending out the cavalry to defend against what went wrong with yourself or your business.
No matter how careful you may be, online privacy may still be compromised. Keeping your information in secret isn’t always possible.
How you fight back against unauthorized broaches of online privacy will tell a lot about you and your business as a whole.