Blogging is an excellent way of earning money and carving a little space out on the internet, where you can share your thoughts and opinions, and store a bank of memories for your children to read in the future. However, one of the pitfalls of this is a lack of privacy. No matter how careful you think you are being with sharing your life online, it is always worth reminding yourself, so read on to find out how to protect yourself online as a blogger.
As a blogger, it can be very easy to overshare. In fact, sharing is what you are all about. A good blogger has a close relationship with their followers, which can mean sharing details of your life with strangers that in any other circumstances, you would keep close to you. However, maintaining an element of privacy is essential, especially if you have children, to keep you safe from harm.
Make sure your website is fully protected
Everyone should be practicing basic internet security, whether they are bloggers or not. Think of all the things that you do online, which involve inputting sensitive data – banking, shopping, and paying bills being just a few of them. When you are a blogger, you are putting a lot more of your life online, so it is important to make sure it is protected. If your website is open to hackers and viruses, lots of your hard work can be lost, and you can also put the data of your followers and subscribers at risk. If they are based in the EU, you could find yourself breaching GDPR (general data protection regulations) guidelines which can lend you a hefty fine.
There are various ways in which you can boost the security of your blog. First of all, make sure your internet security is the highest it can be and make sure you do regular updates. You may also want to consider setting up a VPN – Troypoint can show you how. Make sure that your blog login is secure by creating a complex password – a combination of letters and numbers that cannot be easily guessed, and change it regularly. Take advantage of any and all of the security options offered to you by your web host. They will take care of the update and make sure that your website is protected from the latest threats and attacks.
Don’t make it easy for people to guess your identity
Unfortunately, there are people out there who will try to steal your identity and use it for reasons that are more than a little nefarious. Sadly, this means that you have to be wary of everyone. Even though blogging involves sharing some details of your life, think very carefully, and try not to reveal too much about yourself.
Avoid providing details such as your full name, date of birth, address, where you or your partner works, etc. If you have children, do not reveal their schools or any clubs that they go to. It may also be worth considering creating a whole new email address to keep correspondence that comes from your blog separate, helping you to keep your personal email address private.
Avoid giving your real address
Would you want someone sending you unsolicited mail or even turning up at your front door? No, you wouldn’t, but these are risks associated with giving out your real address. Many bloggers now use a PO box to receive mail from brands that they are collaborating with. Yes, it costs a little extra money, which can be offset against your business expenses, but it is worth it to protect yourself and your family. You also need to consider the implications if you go on holiday and share that you are away on your blog or social media – if people know your address and know that you are not there for two weeks – well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what may happen!
Stay safe on social media
Social media goes hand in hand with blogging. Bloggers use it to promote their latest posts and entice people to their websites. Like your blog, social media channels can be a great way to engage with your followers, and for them to find out more about you, so it is important to be careful about what you put online.
There are some fundamental tips to follow to stay safe on social media, which again, should be followed whether you are a blogger or not, so make sure you follow them all. One way of doing this is by having different accounts for your blog and personal lives. This keeps your business social media completely separate and allows you to interact with your friends and family as usual on your personal account.
Protect your integrity as a blogger
Bloggers spend hours creating creative and original content for their blogs – well, good ones do, anyway! Unfortunately, there are people out there who would rather let someone else do the hard work and take credit for it. Copyright infringement is a huge problem for many bloggers who find their work and photography plagiarized by others. While there is very little that you can do to stop people from doing it, you can put warnings on your blog and take legal action against anyone you find doing it. You can also carry out reverse image searches on photographs to make sure they are not being used elsewhere without your permission.
With the internet becoming more and more ingrained in our lives, privacy issues are going to become more of a concern. While blogging can and should be great fun, it is important to be careful and err on the side of caution in order to protect you, your home, and your family. If you are not sure, do not put it on the internet. Your followers will never know, and your family will thank you.