People have different reasons as to why they blog. But did you know, the information that you put online may seem less important in your eyes but can be used by someone else to hurt you? In this digital era, data is gold and someone hacking you is quite easy than you think. For example, putting your home address online is useful to a burglar, your bank information is useful to an identity thief and your thoughts are useful to a cyber stalker and/or a cyber bully. Whatever information you put online will benefit someone in one way or another. This is why it is imperative that you practice safe blogging.
- How public is your blog?
You should think very carefully about how public you wat your blog to be. Remember, the more public it is, the more chances there are of you being at risk. If you want your blog to be public, make sure that you keep personal and identifiable details and thoughts to yourself. Make sure to regularly review who has the access to your blog and make changes whenever necessary.
- Keep identifiable details to yourself
I cannot emphasize this enough. The same way you wouldn’t share your personal information to a stranger you meet on the street is the same way you should treat information in your blogs because that’s just what most of your readers are-strangers. Therefore, treat the information you dish out with care.
- Do not give out your personal details. Put a nick name or a pen name.
- Do not give information that puts you on the map, whether it is an address or where you went to school.
- Do not give information that is unique to you like your date of birth or day of graduation. It is easier for a stalker or a cyber bully to narrow the list down to you.
- Post pictures selectively
What does the picture show about you-does it attract the wrong kind of attention? People nowadays have gotten smarter and you should too. Make sure to check out the following:
- Does the photo show your house number, a street sign, a license plate, a known landmark?
- What are you wearing? Does it have the name of your school, sports team, or club? Your name?
- Who’s in the picture? If it shows friends or family members, you may be putting them at risk, too.
- What else do you see? Can you tell the economic status of the individual or family? Does the photo show emotional vulnerability?
- Be careful about sharing your feelings online
Your feelings show who you are and since a blog is an online journal, we tend to write our feelings in there too. What you do not know is that these are good breeding grounds for cyber stalkers. From what you write, they can gauge your self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, your depression and so on. They I turn stalk you and prey on your feelings. Make sure that whatever you write online doesn’t directly reveal your state of mind.
- Be careful about meeting someone who you met online
When you meet someone online, it is just time before you guys decide to meet face to face. Big mistake! You are not sure whether the information he/she gave you was true. He/she could be a serial killer or a thief. You never know. Make sure you confirm those details before you decide to do a face to face meeting. Do not ignore your instinct. Also if you decide to meet, make sure that you meet in a public place where in case something goes wrong, you can get help ASAP.
Now that you know how to protect yourself, happy safe blogging!