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Question
Greetings !
I'm currently an unemployed individual who is quite concerned about internet privacy.
I have an account on FB and I have posted various comments on the other FB accounts - pertaining to politics and the world of entertainment.
Now I see that my comments have wound up on Google and I am quite mortified.  I happen to be quite conservative in a very liberal area and though I just offered encouragement to someone who is quite conservative I am always worried that people might do a search on me and cause me potential problems down the line. I am now reluctant to post anything on FB or anywhere else because I do not like to be looking over my shoulder...post a comment and then worry about ramifications........I have had to water down my comments and feel I am becoming far too wary. Please advise !  Thanks !

Answer
iPredator-Information Age Forensics
iPredator-Information  
Dear Albert,

First and foremost, your question leads to an excellent point in the growing area of Online Reputation (aka Digital Reputation) and Digital Footprint. These 3 terms, Online Reputation, Digital Reputation and Digital Footprint are three terms I strongly suggest you Google and research. I would also add Online Reputation Management to your search term queries.

You are correct in being careful posting any information in cyberspace unless you first make sure the vehicle in which you are disseminating information is 110% secure. To assess security and privacy of information, be sure to check the site's Privacy Settings, Member Guidelines & Privacy Policies. With Facebook, and not knowing if you posted your political comments on a FB group, FB friend page, FB cause page etc. and what their Privacy Settings were set at, I do not have sufficient information to answer why your comments are somehow now available through search engines connected to your identity.

Given you are unemployed at this time and possibly using cyberspace for employment search or suspect potential employers may do an online identity search prior to employing you, I would hold off on sharing anything in cyberspace that can be potentially misinterpreted until you secure employment. Although employers are discouraged from conducting identity searches on potential employees, given the level of inaccurate information about people is rampant and not verifiable, college admission boards and all types are businesses are increasingly using search engine technology to find out about a person they are thinking about employing or accepting.

There are few ways to remove negative and/or controversial information from cyberspace and the "Grand Google Aggregation Machine" once it has been disseminated, other than having the author remove it, the site where it was authored remove it, or the search engine who is connecting that information to the identity remove it. Google is doing its job and cannot be held accountable as well as the website (Facebook) where the information was first posted. Only when information about anyone or anything has been considered to be obscene, criminal, deviant, violent or highly controversial will search engines and social networking sites remove the information.

Lastly, also be careful of the 100's and soon to be 1000's of organizations and professionals who, for a cost, will promise you they will solve your negative reputation problems. Not that all are engaging in false advertising and nefarious online activities and some are certainly reputable and effective, but the Online Reputation Management industry if filled with "Snake Oil Salesmen". If this is a potential option for you or anyone who may read this, practice "Buyer Beware."

As stated, the question you ask is in itself, touches a huge arena involving cyberspace and privacy. Lastly, my recommendation is to always be cautious about what you share in cyberspace because you never know how it may be used by others. As my Mom use to say, God rest her soul, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Her words I live by when it comes to disseminating information both offline and online. Good Luck in your job hunting.

Respectfully,
Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., C.F.C.
NYS Licensed Psychologist
CEO, iPredator Inc.
Website: www.iPredator.co
Email: drnucc@ipredatorinc.com  

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Dr. Michael Nuccitelli

Expertise

cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cybercrime, cyber terrorism, online sexual predators, child predators, Internet safety, psychopathology, criminal psychology, forensic psychology and cyber psychology.

Experience

Dr. Michael Nuccitelli is a New York State licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 1994 from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. In 1997, Dr. Nuccitelli became a licensed psychologist in New York State (License # 013009.) In 2006, he received the Certified Forensic Consultant designation from the American College of Forensic Examiners (Identification # 103110.) In September 2011, Dr. Nuccitelli established iPredator Inc. offering the private & public sectors educational and advisory services regarding cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cybercrime, cyber terrorism and Internet predators. In June 2012, Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. launched their long anticipated website, www.iPredator.co, offering site visitors an incredible amount of information, education and advisory services. Over the last 25 years, Dr. Nuccitelli has worked in the mental health field in a variety of capacities with various clinical populations. Concurrent with his employment in mental health, Dr. Nuccitelli was a practicing psychologist for 10 years and worked in the field of forensic psychology conducting evaluations and consultation for attorneys and court systems. Dr. Nuccitelli has extensive career and academic experiences. His areas of expertise includes forensic & criminal psychology, digital forensic psychology, psychiatric & psychological disorders and developmental psychology. He is an avid follower of national & criminal news and enjoys educating the public by interacting with the media. Dr. Nuccitelli continues to investigate and expand his construct he has constructed, called iPredator. He presently consults with the American College of Forensic Examiners to become the resource and hub for Americans seeking information on iPredators, digital/computer forensics, cyber security and training programs for the professional sector and law enforcement.

Organizations
American College of Forensic Examiners International

Publications
Dr. Nuccitelli's theoretical construct, iPredator, was the feature article in the 2011 Winter issue of the Forensic Examiner published by the American College of Forensic Examiners International. His recent article "2012 Cyber Bullying Tactics," will be split and published in the Summer and Fall issues of their magazine.

Education/Credentials
Dr. Nuccitelli is a New York State Licensed Psychologist and certified forensic consultant.

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