• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

May 14, 2008

Cleaning Up Your E-Image

woman with laptop

Photo Credit: Izabela Habur

Special Offer

It can happen in a flash. One day you’re dashing off an e-mail griping to pals about your high-profile boss. Next thing you know you’re a punch line, after one of those idiots posts your unfortunate rant on the Web. The bloggers latch on; your note spreads like wildfire; you’re unceremoniously canned. Now whenever people Google you — say, potential employers — they see your insubordination in wretched detail. What do you do? Get e-cleansed.

Companies with names like ReputationDefender, ClaimID, and International Reputation Management have sprung up to accommodate the growing ranks of Web-smear victims. They’ll set up new, more flattering Websites about you, while also prodding tormenters to remove nasty posts.

Most clients are doctors or lawyers with disgruntled clients, executives with furious former employees, and regular joes under siege by bitter ex-lovers. “The cases go up and down the socioeconomic chain,” says Michael Fertik, founder of ReputationDefender. “We once had a dermatologist who suspected a plastic surgeon of creating fake patient testimonials against him.” Kennel owners can be vindictive, too. “It’s a competitive business: They often think rivals are out to get them,” says Fertik. “And we’ve heard from women who participated in eating-disorder chat groups and don’t want everyone knowing they used to vomit every day.” Costs for the services vary widely — from 10 bucks a month to thousands of dollars. But picture your boss viewing your leaked sex video before your performance review, and suddenly it doesn’t sound so expensive, does it?

Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Go to the Beach

Go to the Beach

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From Career Tips
How to Score a Job at Nasty Gal

When the hiring manager gives you advice, you listen.

10 Things Arianna Huffington Wished She Knew In Her Twenties

The influential The Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington discusses the importance of talking kindly to ourselves, occasionally disconnecting, and handling the harshest criticism.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.