Protecting Your Online Reputation (part three): capturing your domain names

By now, you’ve seen how many social media sites there are, and decided which ones to reserve for yourself.

Your next decision will involve spending some money to purchase domain names. There are about as many choices of domain name as there are social media sites, so unless you have the resources of Coca-Cola or Bank of America, you probably won’t be able to buy as many domains as you want. Again, pick the most important ones for you.

In today’s world, you have a physical identity and a digital identity. Your name, or the name of your business, can be a domain name. To protect your online reputation, you must own your name (or as many variations as you can afford to buy). If someone else owns it, then you have no control over it. Well, almost no control.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has established a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy to resolve disputes over the registration of internet domain names. When someone registers a domain name, he or she agrees that the name will not infringe upon the rights of any third party, and agrees to participate in an arbitration process if a third party claims infringement.

To succeed in the claim, the third party (you) must generally show three things: the disputed domain name is ‘identical or confusingly similar’ to a trademark or service mark that you own; that the existing registrant does not have any rights to the domain name; and that the registrant is using the domain name ‘in bad faith’. Notice that this policy applies to names that are trademarked or service marked. (A word to the wise: if this looks interesting, see an attorney.)

The ICANN policy gives you some rights to recapture domain names after the damage has been done, but you are much better off protecting your name before someone else can use it against you.

Choosing the domain names you want and seeing which ones are available will take you on another trip to Enter a name that you want to check. For example, when the name “”samplechamber” is entered, here’s what you see:

When you see the domains where your name is available, you can decide which ones to claim for yourself. You can register these domains at sites like, eNom,, 1&, and many more.

After you decide which domains to buy, you also have a choice to register your domain with your own information or with domain privacy. The ICANN generally requires that the owner of a domain name be identified in the “WHOIS” directory with mailing address, phone number and email address. Sometimes spammers and identity thieves will use this information in ways ICANN did not expect. Several domain name registrars offer domain privacy, replacing the buyer’s information with the information of a forwarding service. Other registrars offer ‘ guard’ and ‘domain locking’. Check out the features offered by your domain registrar.

By owning your name online, you have taken another step to keep the bad guys from using it (or your company’s name, or your brand’s name) against you. Want to learn more about protecting your online reputation? Contact Pat Huston (, Bob Gaynor (, or go to

Protecting Your Online Reputation (part two):

Capturing your social media identity

Once you’ve protected your communication with existing social media sites, your next step is to find and capture your name, the name of your business, and the name of your products in other social media. This will keep critics or competitors from using a site with your name to damage your reputation. Your goal is not to use all of these sites for your business, but to keep critics or competitors from using them.

One way to find out what names are available on social media sites is to go to Enter a name that you want to check. For example, when the name “samplechamber” is entered, here’s what you see:

When you see the sites where your name is available, you can decide which ones to claim for yourself. Keep your ID and password, and other registration information in case you decide to use these media later, or you need to renew your registration.

Taking these precautions will take you a long way toward keeping the bad guys from creating a social media site with your name (or your company’s name, or your brand’s name) on it and using it against you. Want to learn more about protecting your online reputation? Contact Pat Huston (, Bob Gaynor (, or go to

Protecting Your Online Reputation (part one):

Protect your wi-fi connections

If you’re like a lot of people, you use public wi-fi service offered by locations like Panera Bread. Unfortunately, some miscreants hang around public wi-fi sites using software tools to capture your passwords and other security information. When someone else has access to your account, it’s a lot harder to protect your reputation.

The good news is, many social sites have made a change to support start-to-finish encryption of your sessions with the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This keeps your important information out of the hands of people with bad intentions.

Google has implemented encryption automatically – you don’t need to make any changes. Here is Google’s explanation. Looks a bit out of date, but informative 

LinkedIn uses encryption automatically for some kinds of transmissions, and gives subscribers the option to select SSL start-to-finish. They warn us that some third-party applications may not support SSL:

The road to selecting SSL for LinkedIn is a bit long. Click on the dropdown menu next to your name, then choose ‘settings’, click the ‘account’ tab, then click ‘manage your security settings’. Finally you will see this:

Twitter reportedly made SSL their default setting in 2011, but it would be worthwhile to check your settings. Click on the drop-down menu next to the silhouette on the top menu bar and select ‘settings’. You should see this (the selection for ‘password reset’ is optional but a good choice):

Facebook – check your setting by clicking on the dropdown menu next to ‘home’, select ‘account settings’ then ‘security’, and you should see that secure browsing is enabled. If not, edit the setting.

Taking these precautions will take you a long way toward keeping the bad guys from scanning your signals for passwords. Want to learn more about protecting your online reputation? Contact Pat Huston (, Bob Gaynor (, or go to

Ask Patti “what’s with the power of interests listed on my linkedin profile?

Great question. Did you know that your interests (many can be added separated by commas) can become hyperlinks to those that share same in kind? Once you have edited to create your interests, your profile view becomes a link to others connected or not. How cool is that….


Don’t forget the groups you are a part of as well. Same difference only to groups …..get linkedin to work for you by employing this often missed opportunity. Powerful way to connect to others that have similar interests and groups to you.

and thanks again for a great question


Ask Patti “How do I control my group updates?


I’m getting swamped with Linkedin messages (over 50 in less than 2 days). Most of them say See what….. is doing. Why am I getting all these so suddenly? What can I do to stop or reduce them? I don’t think I’ve connected to most of them.




Hello Lee!


Ah…the updates from linkedin groups….overwhelming eh? Go to your groups (up top under groups) or under your name (settings). Chose the hyperlink to the group you want to edit. Once inside the group click more and unclick the updates, activities, or discussions (etc).


Repeat for all groups that you are a member of. I am active to only a handful……You’ll need to decide what groups are most meaningful top you. Does this help?


Set it and forget it:)




Pat Huston
Geek Speak LLC
Clearwater, Florida

Ask Patti – Where do I go for gas on linkedin?? (super connected people)

I wanted to THANK YOU once again for taking the time last week in discussing the importance of utilizing social media at our Professional Networking Group with the Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance. Just to jog your memory, I’m the one who spoke up and said that after attending many of these P.N.G. meetings, this has been, by far, the best training that I have ever experienced with this group. I also spoke with you after your presentation. I own and operate an event based business, through a franchise (Maui WowiHawaiian Coffees & Smoothies), but looking to go out on my own and create my own concept. I really appreciate all of your insight and if at all possible can you please forward me your presentation and any other material that you find beneficial. Also, I would like to “connect” with you through LinkedIn.Can you give me some immediate pointers?
Again, I really appreciate all that you have done and if there is ever any classes, seminars or training that you have, I would be very interested in attending.
Thanks again and take care.
Ask Patti says:
You need gas to drive a car……10 super connected people (500+) per week until you get to 15 million 3rd party connections….Just use advanced search for LIONS and sort by connections.

Ask Patti – Your linkedin Dear Abby

Hi Patti,

I have a friend who owns a placement services company for IT professionals. He has agreed to keep his ears open for me and has said he is going to send my resume to a company he knows will be hiring soon. In the ‘People You May Know’ section, I see the president of the company he told me about. Do you think it’s a good idea for me to try to connect directly with him? He doesn’t know me at all and I don’t think he would even be aware what my friend has offered to do for me.


Hello Monica,

Good sleuthing! You want to join groups he is a part of and pretty much familiarize yourself with his background….(imagine you are sitting in his office noticing his pictures degrees etc..see who he is connected to …and search his company for other employee profiles to review………you can click on his company profile if he has the widget….

Remember the more connections you have the greater depth you’ll have inside linkedin. Super connectors are the gas and ….good gas mileage.

A pleasure to be a resource.


a Dragon enters my world

anyone using Dragon naturally speaking software? I just started using this today and am curious to see if it’ll make me more conversational in my posts. As an auditory learner this enables me to speak and say things and see them appear as quickly as I save them. Wow! This tool is pretty dang cool.

Funny, it can’t spell my name right. It has no idea what slang is. But…. It can put in an! or ? with ease …. How about a 🙂 ….

Okay I digress but it is that easy and  that fun so.… Anyone out there got some great tips for me? So far I’m really impressed.

Nimble helps a job-seeker in a snap

Yesterday showing new students how to set up and optimize their linkedIn account for online visibility, I introduced them to NIMBLE. The ability to see all online activity of a prospective company and the names of individuals working there is a powerful tool in pursuing a position in today’s world of socialization.

I showed them a recent business development opportunity I had and how I used both linkedin and Nimble to close the deal….to walk in and know were the interviewer went to school, worked, what they look like, and other individuals that work there and how they are connected to you provides a powerful opportunity to connect and build a solid foundation. Good old Google Search makes and seals the deal. Don’t discount it’s power and new search tools especially when you can connect the dots……

How I love playing detective and warming up these “cold” calls.

The look on the face of a new contact when you start off with a home run regarding something you know that you have in common is more powerful than I can express…..

One two punch …….it’s a knock out with NIMBLE.

#Nimble gives me the “googles” as in +

Reading as I do some of the group discussions within LinkedIn, (If I hear did you know you can join 50 groups one more time…….?)

One discussion keeps popping up regarding a request for a simple app that consolidates social media ……It pretty much gets the tweetdeck/hootsuite  recommendation (with a smattering of nimble from me)

Seems nobody reads the previous responses anyway so why do I????

Worse yet I have daily updates coming to my email because I am too lazy/confused/forgetful/ADD like to turn it off or set it to a weekly notification. But that is another discussion.

Nimble gets the juice though because I can now integrate Google +. How cool is that…..

but I can’t post to it…..

baby steps baby steps ….

I cry like a baby but like I said Nimble gives me the giggles….

I mean the google+