Yup…it’s called “high-jacking”, “hacking” or “spamming” and it unfortunately is a very real threat in today’s Internet world. I see it happen WAY too frequently for my liking!
It is absolutely important that dental practices not passively wait for local listing websites to put the appropriate security in place before you claim your listing or while you manage your current listing. Online security starts with the obvious claiming of your dental practice, but many 3rd party sites allow data to be inserted from other places on the Internet and I highly doubt there is good security in their processes. If someone wanted to hijack a local dental listing, they could easily insert the wrong information through a low level business directory that sells its information or inserts its data directly into a higher level local listing website.
While the top search engines like Bing, Google and Yahoo have “some” front-end security. They’re still vulnerable. Data is provided to their local listings from 3rd party sources including “get listed” services. Additionally, if someone cannot claim a listing easily, the process within these local listing websites allows for additional listings with the same address to be submitted by anyone. Major loop hole!
The security holes are quite evident with Local Business Listings and I don’t think it takes a genius see what could happen if dental practices do not “claim” their listings … the first step in closing those “holes”.
So the moral of the story is monitor your listings on a weekly and monthly basis to prevent hijacker, spammers and other “unethical” dentists from stealing your spot and listing.