The Internet is a vast network, full of all sorts of information: millions of pictures, videos, posts, anything you can think of! There is no end to what you can find on the Internet, but sometimes this is not a positive thing. With one click of a search engine like Google or Bing, your family and friends and even potential employers can find all kinds of information about you, from your work history to your personal life and sometimes your VERY personal life.
This is not always a good thing. While you want potential employers to know all your amazing accomplishments, if they see the wrong thing, it could cost you a job offer.
Someone, or even yourself, can potentially let loose a less-than-flattering photo on the Internet, causing you trouble down the road.
You’ll get over being embarrassed you think. But those embarrassing photos can hurt your job prospects. If an employer sees an awkward photo of you, like being passed-out drunk on the ground, or potentially something worse than that, what kind of opinion would that potential employer form about you? But, I already have a job, you say. Your current employment could suffer too.
That is why you need to act quickly, doing everything you can to remove compromising photos. Sometimes this may be as easy as sending a report to Facebook or asking a friend to remove the photo from their album.
It may not always be that easy though. If your embarrassing photo is up on a random site, you’ll have to jump through more hoops to remove it. Let’s assume the photo is your’s but you did not grant permission for the photo to be posted, you can send a DMCA-take-down notice. This take-down notice is a formal request for material to be removed, and it is sanctioned under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) — a U.S. copyright law helping to protect the ownership of digital information.
You can even ask Google to un-index the photo or website on their search engine. Sometimes this can take longer and require more work than you have time for. You can positively impact your online presence for the better, so anyone that may be searching for you online; for example, family, friends, employers will be more likely to find awesome information within the search results.
To make this happen, you’ll need to register your personal website, add your details, some personal photos, a good CV, motivational letter and you can add many other cool accomplishments, making your online face look awesome. It is recommended you do the same on your social profiles like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The more good press you give yourself, the not-so-great stuff gets pushed down in search results. The first page of search results matter.
Despite your best efforts, the action you take might not work. If you come to this point, you can fall back on the law and hire a seasoned lawyer. An expert experienced lawyer in this field can provide invaluable resources, such as writing a take-down notice, writing a cease-and-desist letter, or sending a strong case to court to enforce your rights based on the DMCA law. Most importantly, they will be able to provide you with legal advice based on the specifics of your case and your rights within the bounds of the laws and other case histories.
In conclusion, nothing is impossible if you persist and don’t quit. Just remember next time you take embarrassing photos of yourself, that you and only you take them and keep them safe. Do not upload them to the Internet. It is better to be safe than sorry.