Even if you don’t care to get heavily involved with social networking, have you thought about what happens if someone with your same name is?
We’ve written before about how employers can be checking your Facebook account before they hire you, but don’t think just because you don’t have a Facebook that you are safe. Â Have you thought about how someone with the exact same name may be out there on social networks posting information that would shine an unfavorable light on you even though it isn’t you?
Lets say an employer goes to check on potential hire Englebert Humperdink, and when they see just one person with that name on a social network, they just assume its you. Â Well this other Englebert has information about taking illegal drugs, talks about partying and so on, this could end up reflecting poorly on you.
Now, true, there are other sign posts that would hopefully tell the person it isn’t you, but you are counting on them being detail orientated, something most people are not. Â Wouldn’t it be better for you to claim the profile for your name even if you never put a thing on the account?
Of course this isn’t going to work for people with names like John Smith, but if your name is the least bit unique it is something you should think heavily about just to protect yourself.
With services like Namechk you can enter your name as you would want it to appear, so lets say “engleberthumperdink” and the service will check 132 of the most popular social sites in one shot letting you know where the name has been taken, or if it is still available. Â If it shows up red on too many sites, meaning it has been taken, you may want to think of another version of the username, but if its green, waste no time and go and grab them!
Essentially you have to think of this as the 21st century version of the land grab; if you don’t do it, someone else will.