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ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

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A Great Way to Ruin an Online Reputation

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I’m all about transparency. But that’s just me. Not everyone is so forthright. Most people prefer to fly a click or more below the radar and never have a light shine on them. I prefer to make sure what’s being said, is said by me and not some troll. My brother used to say “the worst thing that can happen to a person is to end up on one of those stupid talk shows.” Then I proceeded to do every talk show including Howard Stern. But that’s just me.

My only regret was doing the Maury Povich show. That guy just played me and took advantage of me and used me as a pawn on his show. He would ask the audience leading questions adverse to my sound advice and continually allow the stupidest person in the room to answer. Controversy is fine, but bad, potentially deadly advice isn’t.

My point in all this? Things are heading in a direction that if you aren’t transparent, if you aren’t doing things to boost your credibility, if you aren’t “open” and someone decides to use the internet to slam you, then they automatically have the upper-hand. Today a person has less control over what is said about them than ever.

Unvarnished is a new website, in beta, you need to be invited. Users connect with Facebook. PC World seems to allude to anonymous posting on Unvarnished that can only happen if someone fakes a Facebook profile. Anything in the form of anonymous posting doesn’t benefit the common good.

For example, when I read the comments in newspapers or blogs, I often see people throwing up all over everyone and saying the meanest, rudest and most hateful things. These cowards can easily do this anonymously. But none of them have the nerve to assign their actual name to it.

PC World reports Unvarnished functions like other social networking sites–especially the popular professional social networking site, LinkedIn. Users can create a profile with their resume and work information, and request reviews from their professional colleagues. The difference, of course, is that users can also “create” a profile for non-Unvarnished users–if you, say, want to leave a review of that shoddy intern from two summers ago and he/she doesn’t have a profile–no worries, you can still leave the review. Shoddy intern can then claim said profile later, if he/she so desires.

The best way to gain more control over this kind of site is to set up your own profile. It’s a start. Then build positive commentary. Another tool for managing online reputation management is to go to Knowem.com and grab up all the social media sites and get your name.

And protect your identity.

1. Get a credit freeze and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.

2. Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk. (Disclosures)

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing Facebook Hackers on CNN.

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

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