Most of us appear somewhere on the internet, whether we like it or not. Michael Murphy, Senior Associate, advises companies and organisations on cyber risks and insurance and regularly presents on this topic. Our Legal Information Systems Executive, Naoise O Donnell, devises and provides in-house training to our personnel on this topic. We would like to share with you our seven basic tips to assist in protecting your online reputation. ‘Prevention’ is always much better than a ‘cure’ after the event.
- Protect your personal information by using different passwords for each website which should not be shared or readily accessible by third parties. Use only secure online websites and secure apps particularly when accessing online banking apps.
- All your internet accounts, appearances and mentions create your ‘online brand’ so be authentic and positive, especially on social media and be mindful of the scope for defamation. Genuine debate is positive but always remember not to feed the trolls!
- Have a genuine looking email address which includes your name, no numbers or underscores and which does not divulge any of your personal information (i.e. dates of birth, addresses, etc.).
- Monitor your online reputation by:-
- Searching for yourself on Google and other search engines. Check regularly. Check the images and videos too.
- Setting up a Google Alert for your name so that you are alerted to new internet information including it.
- Checking and rechecking privacy settings on accounts such as social media and apps.
- Make a ‘friend pact’ about taking and/or posting photos and videos of each other. Agree to take down photos/videos without question if asked, on the understanding that the same will be done for you.
- Do not consider emails, direct messages on twitter, exchanges on Messenger, texts, What’s App, SnapChat or Viber messages as private. Often, rightly or wrongly, screen shots can be taken and shared online.
- Mitigate potential problem content by:-
- Ask for content to be taken down (we can advise upon take down requests and legal options)
- Untag yourself from content
- Delete accounts if necessary
- Report abusive behaviour by third parties (Twitter and Facebook, for instance, have guidelines on the steps to take)
- Obtain legal advice from HOMS Solicitors.
If you require legal assistance on any of the topics discussed please contact Michael Murphy, Senior Associate.