Whether it's a new professional contact or personal acquaintance, managing your online profile may help to bolster your new relationship.

Profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook may tell a great deal about your activities. Some information about you may even enter the cyber world without your knowledge, especially if your friends are active online.

Personal information such as age, marital status and ethnicity are often located on websites, information that is often not required on job applications or resumes.

Personal tastes and interests are also often prominently featured, which may work for some initial business contacts but not others.

Social networking sites often allow for configurations which let users make some information public and other private, releasing it to specific contacts. However that is no guarantee against making a mistake or possible malfunction by the website, so user beware.

Managing what others say about you online may also be an option. Making a request to a poster or organization may be enough. Social networking sites also allow users to report abuse with complaints.

If you have several online profiles through various web sites, keeping them handy as favorites on your web browser's favorites bookmarks may improve your chances of updating them at the same time.