More People Seeking Help to Protect Themselves From Cyber Bullies and Online Trolls

CHARLOTTE, NC – Whether it’s your fault or someone’s just out to spread ugly rumors and gossip about you, in this digital world, your good reputation can be gone in an instant!

“It can be incredibly damaging, and sort of the silent killer of your social life, your professional life, your personal life,” explains cyber security expert Theresa Payton.

Payton runs a cyber security firm in Charlotte.

She served as White House Chief Information Officer under George W. Bush.

She tells me business is up 500 percent year-over-year for people looking to erase their digital footprint, or the one someone else leaves behind for them.

“We helped an NFL player, who is no longer playing, who had this derogatory information posted about them that was actually not true,” Payton says.

She says while it seems the Internet never forgets, there are some proactive steps you can take.

She suggests setting up Google alerts with all variations of your name, so you can catch negative information, as soon as it’s posted.

Also, reach out to web pages or social media sites and ask them to take unflattering info down.

If that doesn’t work..

“This will not age like fine wine and get better with time, it will actually get worse and that’s where you may want to see some professional help and professional guidance,” Payton says.

Emory Simmons with cyber security firm CMIT Solutions says you can also be your own worst enemy.

“You probably don’t want anyone on the Internet to see your personal Facebook post, or your LinkedIn post, so just take the extra couple of seconds to go in and restrict that,” Simmons says.

And while it may seem cruel, he says don’t hesitate to go in and unfriend people who may not be looking out for you best interests.

“Our lives change, our employment, where we live, who we care about changes over time, so we should go back and review those lists and adjust them as appropriate,” Simmons says.