Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

WHEN CONDUCTING DUE DILIGENCE INVESTIGATIONS, AVOID THE DISINFORMATION THROWN DOWN BY INTERNET REPUTATION MANAGEMENT COMPANIES


The proliferation of so-called Internet reputation management firms, who promise to make negative information about you, or your company, become inaccessible on the Internet, means that much of what your search engine produces could be bogus. You must separate the wheat from the chaff, efficiently, and quickly, so that you can obtain the desired results, and move on to your next task.

 Here are a few tips that may lead you to that piece of information that your target is so anxious to conceal:

(1) Disregard the relevance rule; too many compliance officers never venture past the first or second page of search engine results. Remember, the reputation management firm has peppered the Internet with dozens, or even hundreds of web pages of meaningless, untruthful, or self-serving web garbage. Go to the bitter end of all searches.

(2) Immediately rule out all social media, non-business sites, and anything else that a webmaster can use to build favorable information about their client.

(3) Go to the authoritative sites only; this means news articles from well-known, major media, court filings and decisions, official records, and anything coming from an established source, as those generally cannot be appropriated.

(4) Avoid "false flag" web entries. This could be a nomination for some charitable award,
and anything of a positive nature, which could be fabricated or bought. Is an industry award really available for sale ? Did the target create an entity, and then confer an award upon himself ?

(5) Change your search parameters; use last or middle names only, nicknames, full given names; varying the searches may disclose some Internet gems.

(6) Has the target's name been inserted into a favorable article, in place of the true name ? Search again, this time enter the event, award or incident by name, and determine whether text of an article, including your target;s name, has been doctored.

Above, all maintain a healthy dose of skepticism about anything your encounter on the Internet, unless it came from a good source. There's a lot of junk inserted by reputation management firms, to sidetrack you, and keep you from the truth; the truth is out there.




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