You’ve probably heard it a lot – online reputation is important; how you present yourself online affects people’s reactions to you or your business or your resume; you get the drill.  Have you ever felt like you were floundering, though?  Feel like you don’t know where to start?  Or whether or not you even need to?  After all, you’re not online much, right?

The bad news is, even if you’re not online much, your friends are, or even other people with your name.  The good news is, it’s easy to check your online reputation.  So check this article from Forbes and find out the easy ways to make sure you present yourself well online.

Five Fast Tips For Looking Good Online

As a 20-year-old woman, I’ve spent my whole life in what people classify as the digital age. Since I was 7, I’ve experimented with the Internet and social networks. As a business owner, I realize more than ever the importance of a strong online reputation – as I rarely meet anyone in person who hasn’t looked at a profile of mine online first. So how do you always ensure you look good online and put your best foot forward?

Here are five fast tips that can work for you:

  1. Rehabilitate your reputation. Most of us have been posting online for the past 15 years and likely don’t have a clue what we said three years ago, let alone way back when. Take some time out of your day to do a little reputation rehab. Scroll back on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to see what you posted back in the day and purge anything that’s outdated, negative, misleading or inaccurate about who you are now.
  2. Google yourself. Unless you share a name with a popular baseball player, the odds are you’ll find some information about yourself in Google search results. Take an hour to do a search audit and keep track of what you find. What does the information say about you?
  3. Create a positive web presence. Secure your name as a username on all the popular social networks and post about content you’re interested in. Focus on being smart and thoughtful. In other words, provide value online and actively associate that value with your name.
  4. Stay smart in all situations. College-aged students are constantly invited to parties – which is fine. But it’s always good to know what kind of party activities you can anticipate. Remember that everyone has a camera phone in their pocket so it makes sense to be choosy about your participation. Even if you aren’t doing anything bad, pictures can be misinterpreted, easily damaging your reputation if they end up online.
  5. Think before you post (and then think again). Your privacy, security, reputation and future (e.g. job offers) all depend on the information you choose to share online. Chances are if you wouldn’t want your parents, siblings, co-workers or boss to see information you’re posting online, it’s better to not post it at all. As we saw with Randi Zuckerberg, even if your brother created the privacy settings on the most popular social network ever, your information can and will get out.

Stacey Ferreira is the co-founder of MySocialCloud.com.  Read the article here.