Call it what you will – name stealing, brandjacking, ID theft, cybersquatting – whatever the name, the potential damage that the social media identity theft can cause to your brand reputation is staggering ... and it can happen to anybody.
Politics and personalities aside, you don’t want somebody else claiming a key social media presence from you ... like what happened to Sarah Palin on Twitter:
“Well, this is interesting. I hear that the not-so-good people at National Review are attacking me over something I said on my Google+ page. Except, I don’t have a Google+ page.This is the third incident I’m aware of — there may well be more — in which people are claiming to be me. There was also my nonexistent connection with academia.edu, and at least one web opinion piece by someone claiming to be me (and sounding not at all like me).”
There’s an important lesson to be learned: Even if you can’t make time to start growing your business today via social media – at least take a few minutes to protect your name/business/brand.
How? Start filling out profiles featuring your personal/brand/company name. Start with the biggies like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (top locations for business profiles: http://goo.gl/t0cSV; top locations for personal profiles: http://goo.gl/w2auz) and then make a time commitment to doing one or two sign ups a day, it’ll be worth the effort.
If you’re time-strapped or if you want to get it done right away, here is an inexpensive service that will quickly secure your name/brand on 300 social media sites: www.IdentityTheftProtectionFrom.com.