That is the warning from a study which ranks how 70 nations around the world are viewed in the eyes of its ever-observant international audience. Sweden took the crown from last year's winner Australia, and Canada won second place under current prime minister Justin Trudeau.
"Countries' reputations take a long time to build but can drop in an instant," said the 2016 Most Reputable Countries report by the Reputation Institute, which surveyed the views of 48,000 people.
While Sweden's high standard of living and generous parental leave has won it international recognition, many countries have seen significant dips in how they are regarded abroad.
Terror attacks in Turkey alongside a media crackdown, criticism of President Erdogan's treatment of Kurds, and the neighbouring war in Syria may have caused the country to fall the most out of all 70 countries on the list.
The home of East and West, as Turkey is sometimes called, lost seven points on its 2015 ranking. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office warns of a "volatile" security situation following an attempted coup to overthrow the Turkish government.
Next to lose international kudos was Saudi Arabia, whose bombing campaign in Yemen and media representation as repressive for women could have contributed to a fall of 4.7 points since 2015.
It was closely followed by Belgium, in a year that saw Eurosceptic resentment of Brussels rise across the continent, and then Greece, which continues to struggle to repay its debts, as well as a drop of 1.4 points for the economically strong and usually socially progressive Germany. Angela Merkel has lost some popularity at home since the Köln and other attacks on civilians.
These are the countries with the best and worst reputations
These are the countries with the best and worst reputations
1/20 1. Iraq (worst)
The country was ranked at the very bottom of the Most Reputable Countries 2016 survey by the Reputation Institute, out of 70 surveyed. Multiple invasions have led to major infrastructural issues in the Middle Eastern nation.
2/20 2. Iran (worst)
Iran is often perceived as run by a brutal regime which beheads more citizens per capita than any other country in the world. Media freedom is also limited.
3/20 3. Pakistan (worst)
Terror incidents and reports of poverty have kept Pakistan low in international rankings for some time.
4/20 4. Saudi Arabia (worst)
Widely broadcast executions of dissidents and drug addicts, as well as scrutiny of the only country in the world which does not allow women to vote in public elections, has damaged Saudi Arabia's international reputation.
5/20 5. Nigeria (worst)
Nigeria regularly ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, with a widening inequality gap and Islamist groups such as Boko Haram attacking the population.
6/20 6. Russia (worst)
Civil liberties and right-wing extremism in Russia is a concern for many in more liberal European countries. President Putin is frequently criticised by international leaders for his role in global conflict, in Ukraine and Syria.
7/20 7. Algeria (worst)
The largest country in Africa faces serious socioeconomic problems and is listed as significantly corrupt. Isis and other armed groups on its borders have threatened security.
8/20 8. Angola (worst)
The country has a history of violent conflict after a civil war which began in 1975 and lasted, with interludes, until 2002. Low oil prices has also hit Africa's second-largest oil producer hard.
9/20 9. Nicaragua (worst)
Close ties between corporations, the military and government has led to accusations that Nicaragua's hard-fought democracy has been dismantled and replaced with dictatorship.
10/20 10. Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan faces both environmental challenges such as radiation from nuclear testing sites, as well as high levels of pollution from years of Soviet-era industry. Lead poisoning is also a problem.
11/20 1. Sweden (best)
The country of high taxes has a strong level of trust from its citizens, a proportionately representative government and 16 months parental leave shared between parents and paid at 80% of one's salary for the first 390 days. Its economy is stable.
12/20 2. Canada (best)
Canadians have a high quality of life according to international comparisons, live longer than their American neighbours, do well in international education league tables and have a progressive view on LGBT rights.
13/20 3. Switzerland (best)
The country is considered a good business investment, clean, organised, independent and beautiful.
14/20 4. Australia (best)
Warm weather and high standards of living in Sydney, Melbourne and especially Canberra won Australia a place in the top five, having taken the crown the previous year.
15/20 5. Norway (best)
A country of outdoor activities, particularly skiing and hiking, as well as socially progressive policies towards gender equality and refugees has endeared Norway with many of its neighbours.
16/20 6. Finland (best)
The Finnish education system is regularly considered one of the best on the planet - trying new ideas, lending teachers autonomy, and paying them very well for their time - while women make up more than 40% of positions in national government, one of the highest in the world.
17/20 7. New Zealand (best)
Outdoor living, low levels of corruption and a friendly national culture keeps New Zealand's reputation favourable abroad.
18/20 8. Denmark (best)
Strong public services are matched by a small- to medium- sized enterprises economy based on families. The government is proportionately representative of votes.
19/20 9. Ireland (best)
A friendly culture with a pro-EU mindset and a recent vote to legalise gay marriage has impressed many of Ireland's neighbours.
20/20 10. Netherlands (best)
The Netherlands has long been considered progressive in its views on drugs policy, sex workers and gender equality. Amsterdam remains one of the top tourist destinations in Europe.
The UK did not make the top 10 but remained in 13th place as last year. The world's most powerful economy, the US, was poorly regarded by judges and left trailing in 28th position. It has at least become more internationally popular since the Obama administration came into power.
Even with the invasion of the Crimea less in the media spotlight, Russia was placed near the very bottom of the ranking. It rubbed shoulders with some of the most conflict-stricken countries on the planet: Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Algeria and Iran. Vladimir Putin has pursued a policy of supporting Bashar al Assad in Syria and has been criticised for abuse of LGBT rights at home.
Here is the entire list:
7. New Zealnd
13. United Kingdom
21. Czech Republic
22. Costa Rica
28. United States
30. Dominican Republic
33. Puerto Rico
45. South Korea
46. United Arab Emirates
49. South Africa
54. El Salvador
67. Saudi Arabia
Civilians in the eight most industrially advanced nations in the world - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US - ranked the 70 nations across 16 factors including an appealing environment, being safe to visit, socially progressive policies, an effective government, an advanced economy and friendly citizens.
Given there are about 195 countries in the world, the list is by no means exhaustive. For instance, neither Syria - half of whose population has been killed or fled in the past five years - nor Iceland - which regularly ranks as one of the happiest and most socially progressive in the world - were assessed.