Your privacy is at risk.
A joke had been played on unsuspected passersby.
A joke had been played on unsuspected passersby.
A fake clairvoyant was giving the most intricate details about “the victim of joke” making them believe that the clairvoyant had an incredible talent.
The victim was amazed until a curtain on the background was lifted only to reveal to them that all the information that the supposed clairvoyant knew about them was simply found online.
Yes, all that info had been given by the victim of the joke himself or herself.
This was a powerful revelation telling how much can be found about you, just with the click of a mouse.
Indeed, everything you put online about you gives away private information about you.
Now, with this in mind, what about blogging?
Blogging is still a new industry and it’s no surprise that even the forerunners are still getting to grips with how it should work best.
While the argument about content, the importance of photography, and the potential need for sponsorship is important, there is one area that doesn’t seem to get enough focus.
And this area is privacy.
There are still endless debates about the dos and don’ts. What we must do and what we must avoid at all cost.
In fact, the internet as a whole has made us rather relaxed about the idea of privacy in general.
We have become accustomed to sharing our lives online, potentially with thousands of strangers, without the slightest fear of giving too much information about private matters.
This increased connectivity has been wonderful in some ways, bringing everyone closer together. But with a closer look, our privacy could be in danger.
Who Should Care About Privacy?
Given that selfies have entered general usage and everyone is photographing what they had for lunch, the idea of having to retain some privacy when blogging seems almost quaint.
As if it was a notion from a time before technology, belonging to the days of gasoline lamps and a postal service that took a week to get a letter to you. It’s even stranger when you consider lifestyle and fashion blogging.
These blogs rely on featuring their owners.
While a blogger can be successful without posting endless pictures of themselves, there’s no doubt the ones that choose to do so are the most successful.
After all, it’s difficult to work on a brand sponsorship if you won’t let your face be shown – so maybe that’s why privacy doesn’t seem like such an issue.
However, there are major downsides to broadcasting your entire life online.
This is true even if you’re a lifestyle blogger, which might seem strange as the description seems to be in the name.
What Are The Risks?
If you are too open with information about you and your life, then the risks are fairly substantial.
Here’s a few to chew over:
- You put yourself at the risk of stalking. It might not seem like it could happen to you, but realistically, no one thinks that – yet stalking still happens. It’s always a risk.
- You could expose your family and friends to unwanted attention by their association to you. Just because you feel comfortable putting yourself online doesn’t mean that everyone else in your life does. You must take the time to consider those who are sharing your life as well.
- It’s invasive. Studies are constantly being conducted on the impact of lack of privacy, and psychologists have long been warning that social media use can make you feel depressed.
If your offline world drips into your online usage, then it can feel like there is no dividing line between them. And sometimes, you’ll need that dividing line to help you feel normal and give you a break.
This is just the beginning of the potential pitfalls of not paying enough attention to privacy. They might seem outlandish, but these problems can and do happen – there is nothing to make you immune.
How Can You Blog and Maintain Privacy?
Ah, the one million dollar question, and one that has many different answers.
Let’s break it down and see how you can maintain an element of a privacy, but without sacrificing the entire point of your blog.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to post photographs of yourself online; it’s something we all do and it’s largely harmless. After all, you show your face to strangers when you go out to the grocery store, right?
However, what you want to avoid is anything too identifying.
Look to crop out any identifying landmarks if you’re posting near your home, such as shop fronts or even the front of your own house. Keep things vague; a field is fine, but a field with a signpost on it? Not so much.
It’s also advisable that when you’re out and about, you resist the urge to post photographs of a location until you have left that particular area.
For example, instant Instagram posting on the spot, not such a good idea for privacy keeping.
You can still show off your photos from a restaurant in almost real time, but with a crucial delay, that means you won’t still be there if someone tries to track you down.
As a general rule, don’t ever post photos of the following:
- The front of your house
- Your car plates
- Anything else that directly identifies where you live or work
There are numerous reasons a blogger might need to list their contact information.
If you want your potential clients or customers to be able to reach out to you, you must have some type of contact information.
Thankfully, there are ways and means to obtain a physical address that doesn’t involve giving out your home address details.
A safe method you could use is a PO Box where you can receive your physical mail and use for online use as well. There are also services where you can get a physical address for the sole purpose of receiving mail.
You don’t ever have to give your real physical address online anymore.
For example, if you have a day job in a multinational company with several offices, don’t mention the company name. You could still mention what type of work you do, but stay as vague as possible as for the details.
In any case, remember that the more information you put online about yourself, the easier it will be to know details about you, and track you down.
At the end of the day, the foremost concern is always going to be for your personal safety
While I don’t want you to be pessimistic, you should be informed and know the risks of not being aware and cautious when awareness and cautiousness are needed.