Nothing is ever completely private on the Internet. When you use social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter, check your privacy settings, and protect your online reputation. Here are some tips to help you take control of your online reputation: If you don't want someone to find something out or something to get out, you shouldn't be posting it online (this goes for text, images, and video). Even if your profile is set to private and is just for your friends, friends can be fickle and ruin your online reputation. It's as simple as one friend reading something about a person, and then telling that person resulting in major drama. Remember, anything you type or any photo you post can be easily copied and pasted. Nothing is every truly private online. Even with your BFFs. Like I said, friends can be fickle, boyfriends and girlfriends break up. And sometimes revenge is as easy as logging in as you and doing serious damage to your online reputation or your relationships. Don't share your passwords. Click on the privacy links on social media sites, read every single option they give you, and then make conscious decisions about what aspects of your profile you want to be private or public. There are tons of options on Facebook controlling your Newsfeed, photos, videos, Wall and more. Remember, companies often make your default settings opted in (the check box is checked to say yes!) for marketers to be able to use the information in your profile in order sell you products they think you might like or to receive email from the social networking site itself. If you don't want your information to be tracked or to receive these emails, you often have to go in and uncheck the boxes. Don't rely on your default settings. Be careful when you accept applications or widgets. Quizzes, horoscopes, Zombies, and other applications are all the rage on social networking sites like Facebook. They're fun to add to your profile and send to others. Just make sure you are aware that when you sign up for these applications, you may be giving your information to other companies. Look for those "checked" in checkboxes. If you're going to use these sites to socialize, just be aware that the Internet is a virtual public place and that complete privacy is an illusion. Still, you can take an active role in managing your online reputation by controlling who sees what and by thinking about what you post before you hit publish. Learn about your online reputation and get helpful tips and advice from BeingGirl.com.