As in real life, so too in digital, you need to secure your assets. You are strongly advised to claim your online real estate, including your:
- domain name (the website address or URL)
- Twitter handle
- account name in LinkedIn, SlideShare, Google Plus and Facebook.
Even if you don’t want to go social now, securing your digital assets is a defensive strategy. From a company point of view it’s non-negotiable. Imagine an online crisis occurs and you are forced to go online to defend your reputation, only to discover someone else owns your brand names online, possibly the hijacker who caused the problem in the first place.
There are three kinds of reasons you should own your name, business name and close variations on it:
- defensive — to prevent parody, spoofs, impersonation and digital hijacking
- online reputation management — to manage online crisis and build reputation
- forward-looking — to allow you to activate a social media presence when the time is right. Do you really want to be Jane-Citizen1957ab, rather than Jane Citizen?
Defensive: parody, spoofs, impersonation and digital hijacking
A defensive strategy needs to recognise several areas of vulnerability.
Parody and spoofs
Social media is rife with spoofs and parodies — some hilarious, others malicious. There’s no one ‘right’ way to respond to these; indeed some people believe parody is an important part of a healthy democracy.
Spoof accounts gain loyal ...