77 Percent of Americans Concerned About Their Online Image

- 3 in 4 Americans admit to judging others solely based on their online material, yet 27 percent regret posting material online - Personal websites offer a more accurate and controlled online image

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Americans clearly recognize the growing role of online image. As the Internet continues to become a common method of posting and searching about people, it is becoming increasingly important for individuals to manage how they are represented online. Controlling the material published is crucial; therefore having your own website is a secure way to manage your online identity.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) July 16, 2008

Over three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) admit to having concerns about how they appear online as a result of personal material placed on the Internet (i.e. blogs, photos, Facebook profiles), according to a study conducted by MaCorr Research and released today by 1&1 Internet Inc., the world's largest web host. A survey of 1,006 US consumers(1) also found that 27 percent have regretted posting material about themselves online, yet 76 percent of Americans admit to judging individuals solely based on their material online. Over half (58 percent) of Americans now routinely 'Google' new people they meet. Another survey of 700 people who publish their own personal website(2), as opposed to just social networking, found that 85 percent believed this offered more control over their online image, and 77 percent saw their website as providing a better impression than social networks such as MySpace or Facebook.

The '1&1 Online Identity Survey' found that an astonishing 77 percent of the American public express some degree of concern regarding the issue of 'online identity.' Significantly, the majority of Americans, 89 percent, now believe there to be personal material (such as photos, blog entries, Facebook profiles) relating to them on the Internet. Over 30 percent of people have been embarrassed by what others have published online. Almost 1 in 5 (18 percent) of Americans believe their online image gives an inaccurate portrayal of themselves, with some 27 percent later regretting posting material online.

Despite the level of regret, concern and misrepresentation, Americans still use the Internet to search and quickly judge other individuals. Over half (58 percent) admit to doing a search of people they meet online, whether it be for social reasons, job applicants, work contacts, romantic suitors or potential roommates. More than 75 percent of people judge others solely based on the material online, and believe that you can make a reliable assessment of a person from this. Some 67 percent of Americans recognize that an online image is something that needs to be carefully managed and accurate.

However, it is not all bad news when it comes to how we manage our online image or identity. When asked the best method for accurately controlling and managing online identity, 70 percent of Americans responded 'having your own personal website' as one of the top methods. A further survey of 700 people who publish their own personal website, as opposed to just social networking pages like MySpace or Facebook, found that 85 percent felt significantly more in control over their online image using this medium.

Some 85 percent of people using a personal website believe that their website has given them a positive online image, and 80 percent agree that their resultant online image accurately represents them. Significantly, 77 percent stated that their website has created a more positive overall online image for them than a social networking page could. The research lends weight to the argument that personal websites can be a useful means to generate or make modifications to an online identity.

Oliver Mauss, CEO of 1&1 Internet Inc. said, "Americans clearly recognize the growing role of online image. As the Internet continues to become a common method of posting and searching about people, it is becoming increasingly important for individuals to manage how they are represented online. Controlling the material published is crucial; therefore having your own website is a secure way to manage your online identity."

Of the personal publishers, three-quarters (75 percent) view their websites as an enjoyable activity, and some 85 percent believe it has made a positive contribution to their lives. Mauss added, "Now that web hosts provide the tools for all levels of users to easily develop and publish a personal website, many people are taking advantage of this opportunity. Personal website publishing is an enjoyable activity and the uses of it are endless; from a career portfolio site displaying your resume to a space to share hobbies and photos. Personal websites offer the high level of control and security that social networking sites do not."

As the world's largest web host, 1&1 offers a comprehensive range of web solutions including domain name registrations, web hosting, email solutions, dedicated servers, and eShops.

For more information on 1&1 Internet Inc., visit the website at http://www.1and1.com.

About 1&1 Internet Inc.:
1&1 Internet Inc. is a subsidiary of United Internet, a profitable public company with a market cap of $5 billion. 1&1 was founded in 1988 and hosts more than 10 million domain names, while more than 55,000 servers run in the company's five state-of-the-art data centers. 1&1's global community is over 7 million customer contracts strong. The company's U.S. headquarters is located in Chesterbrook, PA. For more information, please contact the company at http://www.1and1.com or 1-877-461-2631.

(1) 1,006 US adults 18-65, who are aware of information about them online, interviewed by MaCorr Research during June 2008
(2) 709 US personal website owners surveyed via electronic feedback form in June 2008

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