The blogging industry has exploded in recent years, with more and more heading online to share their lives and their thoughts. Blogging is a social industry, with many bloggers choosing to share large parts of their lives online with their followers.
For most people, this sharing is a fun way to get your personality across, but could you be accidentally compromising your safety? Here are some easy ways to increase your safety online.
Never Share Your Address
Be very careful about sharing your address or any details about where you live that may lead people to work out where your home or place of work is.
If you’re sharing pictures or video of any products you’ve been sent, be sure to cover up your address on the shipping label before sharing. Check any photos of packaging before uploading to make sure you haven’t missed a rogue address that is visible.
You should also be careful when taking pictures inside your home to not include anything easily identifiable that can be seen from your windows. If you have a view that people would recognize, turn away from the windows for pictures. If you’re outside, avoid your house number or any street signs.
If you are sometimes sent products by brands, or want followers to be able to send you post, think about setting up a PO box or virtual address. Online virtual address and mail services are easy to set up, and mean you won’t have to share your real address to receive mail.
Remember a Blog is Public
Your own little piece of the internet can encourage you to get confessional. But be careful, and remember that just because you only see comments from a handful of regular followers doesn’t mean that nobody else was reading.
Be aware of what you post, and never post something you don’t want people to see. This could mean not sharing a story about a friend who has annoyed you in case they see hurt and are hurt, or being careful about not sharing content your employer wouldn’t be happy with.
Some industries are more relaxed about staff’s online presence, but assume that your current or any potential employer has checked out your blog. Go easy on stories of drunken debauchery or dating debacles (or at least if you’re going to, use a pen name and don’t show pictures of your face).
Check your employers rules about social media and make sure your blog or social platforms adhere to them. Some companies are concerned about you working with potential competitors, whereas others just don’t want your views to come back on them. Never name where you work, just in case.
On a similar note, remember the internet is forever, and something you wrote years ago could come back to haunt you at any time. Be aware of what you’re writing, and ensure that no nasty posts come out of the closet to bite you. As a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t want your mom to read it, don’t put it on the internet.
Protect Your Site
Blogs are at risk from hackers, whether they’re targeting personal information or plan to hold your site hostage for a ransom. Ensure your security and the security of any followers you might have details for (for example for newsletters or giveaways) with good web security.
Make sure your blog is secure with a built-in system to protect you from hackers or malware. Regularly backup your blog so you can restore it if there is an attack that takes your site down.
Choose a hard to guess password, and be sure to have different passwords across your accounts so that if someone guesses one, they can’t access everything. A unique, secure password for each account is the easiest way to protect yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid to Block
If someone is harassing you, whether in the comments on your blog or on one of your social media accounts, don’t be afraid to get happy with the block button. Don’t put up with any nastiness.
If someone is threatening or aggressive, keep a record of nasty comments and report them to the police. Never feel like you should allow a bully to target you, just because your blog puts your personality online.
You can still enjoy blogging and the internet socialization that goes with it without compromising your safety. Common sense, web security and a little caution goes a long way to keep your blog life safe and happy.