I find the dangers we bloggers face online very alarming. Crimes like identity theft, scamming, stalking and harassment are only a few of some of these dangers. That’s why it’s important, as a blogger, to protect yourself.
It’s scary the internet, which is in fact, a blogger’s office, is becoming more and more unsafe. We depend on the social media and the internet as a whole to make a living as a blogger. So it is important to remember not to let our guard down and remain safe.
Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself online and continue your blogging activities in peace.
1. Keep Personal Information Personal
One of the keys to staying safe as a blogger is to set clear boundaries. There should be some things that you should keep off-limits from your blog. Whatever you put online is out in the open for millions of people to see forever, so you have to be extremely careful. Avoid mentioning your phone number, home address or other information that will give out your exact location. If, for whatever reason, you have to give away your home address publicly on your blog, use a P.O. Box. Also, make sure your blog host keeps your contact details private. You may need to pay an additional fee for this but it is so worth it.
When posting pictures, you also need to be cautious. Before posting pictures of yourself, check if the picture has a landmark, house number or anything that can be easily used to confirm your exact location.
Sometimes using your real name or your children’s name, if you are a mummy blogger, could pose a security risk. Use a nickname or screen name on your blog if you can.
2. Keep your friends and family out of it
As a blogger, you’re not the only one who’s at risk of the dangers on the internet. Your friends and family are too. So think twice before mentioning their full names on your blog. The same way you shouldn’t give out your personal information and be careful about the pictures you upload, is the same way you shouldn’t for them too. This is because through you they can be exposed to dangers online. But if your blog includes your family life, then it is up to you to figure out how to be safe.
3. Look out for comments or tweets made by friends and family
Since your friends and family are the ones closest to you, they may post information you want to keep away. For example, you need to check if they have left you a blog comment referring to you using your full name, mentioned where you live or gave away other private information you don’t want to share on the internet.
4. Friend Requests
I may have offended a few people by deleting their Facebook requests, but let me just say it as it is. My personal Facebook profile is in fact personal. I only add and accept requests from people I know in real life, people I am comfortable with, or people I want to know on a personal level. My Facebook blog page is public, I follow interesting people on Twitter and Instagram, on a daily basis. But my Facebook personal profile is so out-of-bounds. I just see it as very personal. I have a lot of my pictures on there, and pictures of my family and friends, so accepting everyone that adds me will feel wrong.And I think that she should be the same for others but I may be wrong. Lets face it, there are a lot of freaks online, and many hang out on social media platforms, so it pays to be safe than sorry.
How do you blog safely? Do tell.