We live in a new and ever-more-transparent world. Nearly anyone can snap a photo or post a video and “tag” us or talk about us on their social networks whether we like it or not. Worse yet, anyone can post rumors and fake reviews online, anytime — including competitors. And the longer negative material is on the Internet, the more damage it does.

Now that anyone can be a critic or a fan online, advisors must take precautions to guard our business brands and personal reputations on the Internet. Search engines are constantly scanning the web, taking snapshots of every word, picture and video posted and saving them to produce relevant search results. This means that once a page or image has been scanned, it may be visible online forever. Even if the image or text is deleted from a site, due to “caching” protocols it may still be found in the future.

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