Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sue Scheff: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

As the kids get older, Christmas becomes different - now I am blessed with a grandchild, and of course, as all grandparents think - the most beautiful one..... Life is definitely wonderful! All the bumps and turmoil brings us to where we are today since life is not perfect.

2008 will bring my first book - "Wit's End!" published by Health Communications Inc. In January I will be announcing my second book with HCI that will continue to help people in today's sometimes crazy world and the issues we are faced with today..... I will announce it very shortly.

Merry Christmas to all and take the time to enjoy your loved ones - family and friends.....

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sue Scheff: Net Users Wake Up To Price of Indiscretion by Emma Page

New Zealanders are employing "reputation protection" companies to eliminate inappropriate content about them on internet sites such as Facebook, fearing it could damage their employment or dating prospects.

Dubbed "digital housekeeping", the online clean-up is one of the issues trend-spotters say will emerge in 2008 as the public wakes up to the potential dangers of social sites, blogs and online reviews.

American company Reputation Defender is spearheading the trend and has five Kiwi customers on its books. Director Michael Fertik says four of them are paying the company US$9.95 a month to undertake detailed internet searches hunting for inappropriate, hurtful or inaccurate information and negotiating its removal if required.

Fertik says customers mainly use the service to ensure they impress employers who routinely check social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace before going ahead with job interviews. But many clients are also concerned about potential dates digging up dirt that could damage a blossoming relationship.

In New Zealand, recruitment agencies are running online background searches.

"It's becoming incredibly common," says Julie Cressey, organisational development manager for Madison Recruitment. Facebook is one of the common sites her agency checks, using it to see who potential employees network with.

Cressey says expressing your personality online is fine but the red flag comes out for those posting "inappropriate photos" or making "outlandish commentary".

New Zealand-based public speaker and author of Reputation Branding Hannah Samuel says people need to be educated about the long-term effects of internet content especially young people and their parents, who are often blissfully unaware of the real consequences of the virtual world.

Internet users can at least control what sites they join and what they post about themselves.

Samuel's checklist includes asking how parents, employers or a potential life partner would feel about the material and: "would I cringe in embarrassment or be ashamed if it appeared again?"

But once material is online, removing it becomes difficult.

"Nothing is secret and whatever you put out there can stay out there forever," says Eaden McKee, director of web development company Webforce.

Fertik says Reputation Defender staff have a "broad suite of solutions available", from asking for content to be removed to legal action.

And internet users are taking the initiative themselves, in some cases voluntarily shutting down their online profiles. In what has been dubbed "Facebook suicides", some Facebook users leave notes or give their friends one final "poke" before leaving their profiles behind. The Facebook Mass Suicide Club website says: "Fed up with Facebook? Don't like having your info shared with the world? ... Have you ever thought about just deleting your account and freeing yourself? If Facebook is controlling and consuming your life then this is a group for you."

McKee says individuals or businesses can use Google Alerts to notify them when any relevant material is posted.

But experts agree the best protection is not posting inappropriate pictures or comments in the first place.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sue Scheff Applauding the Hard Work of Reputation Defender and MyEdge

In today's crazy world of Cyberspace - it can be a free-for-all to literally destroy longstanding reputable people and organizations with a stroke of a keypad. With this, priceless services like Reputation Defender have become in demand.

As a client of Reputation Defender, I can personally attest to their remarkable services as well as their compassion to help people that are being harmed via the Internet.

I was a victim of Internet Defamation and now a survivor of it - not only because I won an unprecedented $11.3 Million jury verdict for damages, but because I fought back!

I am not a spokesperson for Reputation Defender, but I am certainly a very satisfied client and completely amazed at their dedication to keep the Internet a safe place for everyone. For those that believe that it is about hiding the ugly, think again - Reputation Defender is selective and does their due diligent. I am proud to be their client. When I went public about retaining this service, it was a difficult decision - but in the end, I realized my voice has helped so many others as well as received the attention of Congress to hopefully make some leglislative changes to promote Internet Safety.

As a Parent Advocate, I am impressed with their latest service - MyChild which can help protect your kids identity and more. With today's tragedies online - as parents we need to take any and all pre-cautions to keep our children safe.

Read more about Reputation Defender. Click Here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sue Scheff: New Websites to Help Parents with At Risk Teens

As a Parent Advocate I believe in keeping parents informed and up to date on today's teens the the issues they face.

I have recently launched two new websites to bring you more information on the following subjects:

Teen Suicide and Teen Criminal Mischief

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sue Scheff: Rising Above Internet Defamation and Fighting Back! New Legal Doors are Opening

Fighting against Internet Defamation can be an uphill battle - but there is finally light coming through. I meet with a Florida Senator for our second meeting and a very prominent lawyer joined us.

Free Speech will always be in place, but it will not allow defamation or reckless regard for the truth.

I will continue to be a voice in this arena and hopefully you will see some major changes and new legal avenues and ACTION soon.

Stay tuned - there is much more coming.