REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - December 28, 2010) -


  • ReputationDefender CEO Michael Fertik, shares five practical and important New Year's Resolutions.
  • We saw heightened threats to online privacy and reputation this year, brought to light by incidents such as online defamation, Wikileaks and social network privacy breaches. In 2011, online privacy and control should be front-of-mind.
  • ReputationDefender is a pioneer and global leader in online reputation and privacy management, with products and services that help educate and empower users to take control of their online real-estate.


1. I will think before I post, "Do I want my mom, healthcare provider, insurer, < INSERT ANYONE > reading this?" Before you expose any revealing or personal information online, consider your audience. Health care providers, financial and insurance institutions, business partners and many more are following your every search, tweet, post and "like" in order to decide how you'll be rated, priced or targeted. Think twice before blogging about your New Year's escapades or becoming a FourSquare Mayor of your local clinic.

2. I will be a stealthy surfing ninja. It's time to enter ninja-stealth mode. Know that you are being tracked online, and that currently, consumers aren't protected by regulation or industry. Here's the scenario: We think that we're getting a free lunch online, but even though a site is free, it doesn't mean you're not paying; if a site is free, "you" are the product. Companies collect information about "you the consumer" online in order to develop the most robust and data-rich digital dossiers. The more bits and bytes they can collect, the higher the worth. Take control over your online searches by entering ninja mode and surfing anonymously. ReputationDefender offers solutions to remove individuals from being tracked online.

3. I will do an online cleanse. Do you really need 2,356 Facebook friends or a massive Twitter following? Which databases does your personal information appear in? Which outdated social networks show up in your Google search? It's important to be aware of all the mentions and connections you have online. Decide which content you would like to be representative of you and which information should not be revealed (i.e. home addresses, DOB, telephone numbers). Resolve to take control of how you appear online by beginning the New Year with an Internet detox.

4. I will not slam < INSERT ANYONE > online. In 2010 we saw the negative and often tragic repercussions of online slamming and mudslinging. Cyberbullying took on extreme levels, at times more akin to cybertorture. On the business side, countless people lost their jobs as a result of tweets and posts that were not so well thought out. If your boss were within earshot, would you whine about how underappreciated you are or how you're planning to quit? Probably not. Comments are even more loud and permanent on the web. Internet attacks and slams are not productive or helpful to anyone; resolve to play nice online this year. 

5. I will not overshare. Oversharing online has reached what can only be the zenith -- it must get better from here! Oversharing runs the gamut from harmless and banal Facebook updates ("Fido ate his biscuit!!!!") to compromising and damaging tweets ("My boss is an @#%). While the impact of oversharing may not be felt immediately, remember the Internet never forgets and the triumphs of today may end up the tragedies of tomorrow.

ReputationDefender is the pioneer and global leader in online reputation and privacy management. The privately held company has advanced technology, unique business processes and a suite of products designed for all consumer segments -- including professionals, small business owners, students, social Web enthusiasts, parents and more -- that make it easier to control online reputations and protect against Internet stalking, identity theft/impersonation and other online threats. ReputationDefender has its headquarters in Silicon Valley, an office in Germany and serves customers in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit

Michael Fertik is a repeat Internet entrepreneur and CEO with experience in technology and law. He founded ReputationDefender in 2006 with the belief that citizens have the right to control and protect their online reputation and privacy. Fertik has earned international acclaim and honors for his work advancing the field: He is a member of the World Economic Forum Agenda Council on Internet Security, a post secured after leading ReputationDefender in the award as World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer 2011. Fertik is also on the advisory board of The Internet Keepsafe Coalition (iKeepSafe). Fertik is co-author of the bestselling book, "Wild West 2.0" and is a regular guest blogger at Harvard Business Review.

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Jessica Gross