I, apparently, am fond of nude yoga. I found this out today when a reader sent me the following Amazon reviews that “Jeffrey Strain” wrote (he wanted to know if I had written them). I also apparently find Nude Personal Training “An Inspirational Exercise Tape” and was disappointed with Nude Cardiovascular Workout/College Co-eds Uncovered because it was shot “hot in a small room, with bad lighting, and ill-considered camera angles.”
While there are a great many things you can control with what you do on the Internet, one thing that you have little control of on the Internet is what people with the same name as you do. While something like this may seem humorous at first glance, it could have significant financial repercussions depending on your employment situation.
More and more companies are doing searches on the candidates that are applying for jobs. If one of them searched “Jeffrey Strain” they would see that Amazon entry appear on the front page and if they assumed that it was I who wrote it, it could have consequences on whether or not I would receive the job.
If you are in a position where people will be looking up information about you, having people with the same name doing inappropriate things under your name could come back to haunt you in a number of ways that you might not even be aware that are happening (if a company decides not to give a sale to you because of something they disagree with that was written by someone with your name, they are not likely to tell you).
If you are looking to change jobs or in a position where you believe others will be searching your name, it’s worthwhile to know what is going to turn up if someone happens to Google your name. If there is something that is present which is embarrassing that may be attributed to you, then you can explain away the situation before it even becomes an issue.
This is yet another reason why I feel that getting your name’s domain name is one of the best investments you can make. No matter how much writing I do about personal finance, if some other Jeffrey Strain had the domain JeffreyStrain.com and decided to use it to share his various nude exercise video reviews, it is quite likely that his material would be at the top of any search engine search for the name Jeffrey Strain. By claiming your name you ensure that you have control of what gets associated with it which can save you a ton of grief depending on how stupid other people in the world that happen to have your name are.
While this particular instance has little effect on me (and no, I did not write those reviews), I’m sure that there are more than a few people on the Internet who have people with their same name that they would give practically anything to make them disappear. While there is little that you can do in most situations, taking as much control as you possibly can over your own name is an important first step to limit the damage.