EC: Internet Reputation Counseling

Protecting Your Name with Internet Reputation Counseling

Are you looking for expert online reputation management? Internet reputation counseling services are a great tool that can be used to protect the public image of people, businesses, and organizations. For businesses, the use of a reputation management firm means that they can protect their online reputation while simultaneously marketing their products and services to consumers. This form of marketing enhances public relations and provides valuable feedback that can help increase revenues.

The benefits of reputation management are equally advantageous to individuals. A person does not need to be famous or wealthy to benefit from using the services of a reputation management firm to protect their online identity. It is not unusual for a company to perform an online background check on a person as a part of normal business procedures. These types of background checks can be prompted due to common activities such as applying for a job, school, or even a loan.

Everyone Can Benefit From Internet Reputation Counseling

Many people who hear about online reputation management do not think it is relevant to them. It is important to consider that accessing the Internet is now a normal part of everyday life in most households and businesses. Each time someone accesses the Internet and takes a simple action, such as sending an e-mail, posting on social media, blogging, or updating a website, they are contributing to their digital footprint. All of these items are archived through a variety of sources and often remain within the public domain, where they can be accessed and searched.

A person’s digital footprint also contains information from third party sources such as media releases, public documents and records, legal proceedings, and even from past and present associates, such as co-workers, family, and friends. The Internet’s perpetual digital archives are unforgiving, and do not absolve a person because of their age. Essentially, this means that any past mistakes that are committed online, even as youthful teenagers, will contribute to an individual’s digital footprint and remain to haunt them throughout their life. Luckily, there are reputation management companies such as that will work to improve and protect your online reputation.

Managing the Online Reputation of Job Seekers

Internet reputation counseling services are able to identify issues and problems with an individual’s digital footprint, and then work to resolve identity issues and improve their online reputation. Today, job seeking is much more than just providing a resume and attending an interview. Job applicants must present themselves as qualified candidates, while also ensuring that their prospective employment would not represent a risk to the hiring company.

It is no longer unusual for a company to verify the candidate’s consumer credit report, criminal record, and perform a comprehensive background check that also includes their online presence. In 2010 there was a study published by Cross-Tab that stated that 75% of recruiters and HR professionals in the United States were employed by companies with policies that mandated that all hiring personnel must research job applicants online. Interestingly, it also stated that 70% of the recruiters and HR professionals surveyed admitted to rejecting job candidates due to information that was found online concerning the applicants. But, in contrast, only 7% of U.S. consumers believe that their online presence affected their job search.

Financial Institutions and Risk Management

Banks and other financial institutions must comply with the “Know Your Customer” rule, which mandates that all financial institutions must implement customer identification procedures and practice enhanced due diligence per the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 and the US Patriot Act of 2001. The financial institutions must adequately identify their customers and perform additional supplemental research to confirm their identity and support their transactions patterns. Investigative research must also be performed to ensure that the customers are not listed by Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) as being sanctioned or on the specially sanctioned nationals (SDN) list.

Further, due to the KYC requirements, the financial institutions must identify negative information regarding their customers. The background research is typically performed by accessing public data consolidators such as Lexis Nexis and via online searches of the Internet. Any negative information or potential matches to the lists generated by OFAC can result in the filing of suspicious activity reports (SAR) and the denial of bank accounts, loans, and access to the U.S. financial system. Examples of derogatory information can include activities or associations that would implicate the individual’s involvement in fraud, illegal drugs, money laundering, tax evasion, terrorism, or other criminal activities. Due to federal laws, any individuals who are found to be suspicious will not be directly notified, but their activities will be reported to law enforcement.

Often, in the interests of risk mitigation, new customers will be refused accounts and established customers might have their accounts suddenly closed. The repercussions for individuals who are adversely affected due to misidentification or negative online information can be staggering. Any individual who is a law-abiding citizen who finds that their bank accounts are suddenly closed without an adequate explanation, or are refused a loan even though they met or exceeded the qualifications, should consider utilizing the services of an online reputation management firm. Internet reputation counseling can help to identify derogatory information and disambiguate someone’s identity from other problematic people who have a similar name and matching biological data.