Many of us here are bloggers or writers. With the availability of the internet, we can easily write our heart out for the whole world to read.
There are many bloggers out there who use their blogging skills to earn a living, the digital nomads, the fashionistas and much more. However, to increase your readership and followers, you’ll need to put a face to your words. The truth is that people love to read about personal experiences and even more when accompanied by personal photos (the growth of Instagram).
The more you write, the more followers you get, the more pressure you are into better your content and your photos. A lot of your photos contains your personal life, little details like locations, the places you frequented, the things you like to buy.
The more you posted on your website and social media, the more exposed you are to the world. While it might not necessarily a bad thing, beware of overexposing yourself to the dangers of the internet.
Exposing Yourself To Identity Theft
Identify theft is not an uncommon crime and it is pretty easy to take over one’s identity. With massive information about yourself online, one can easily pretend to be you. I can find someone with a similar look that is a famous blogger and start throwing my fake identity around to obtain free products and services from companies that are hungry to get free marketing exposure. The problem is that it will ruin your reputation once the companies realize that the freebies that they handed out are not reciprocating with a written review.
Exposing Yourself To Stalkers
While I haven’t read stalkers that commit any serious crimes to bloggers, I don’t think it will be too far off in the future. If stalkers can be obsessed with anyone famous like actresses and actors, enough for them to go to court to obtain a warrant against these stalking fans, a famous blogger might face the same trouble. With your location and your favourite hangouts made known to everyone, it is easy just to wait for you to appear at your favourite cafe to start following you home or your workplace. Scary, isn’t it?
Exposing Your Loved Ones To Danger
There are many sick people out there. You might not be their target of choice or you might have accidentally offended them during an innocent exchange of comments, these sick folks can and will focus on attacking your loved ones. I often see mommies posting their children’s photos online. As cute and innocent as it is, you might be luring unwanted attention from paedophiles. Imagine your baby’s photo being photoshopped in lewd positions?! Or knowing your child’s school might lead to these criminals stalking him.
Exposing Yourself To Unwarranted Attention
When you posted a photo of yourself or personal information, the internet captures it and it retains the information on the web long after you deleted your website. You might not be the next president or the next superstar but your kid or your nephew might one day be. As trivial as your information might be, it can be used against them one day when they become famous. We all know how paparazzi love to dig into someone’s past. You might not have anything ashamed to hide, it just causes unnecessary nuisance and uncalled for headaches.
Keep Yourself Safe Online
If you google it, I’m pretty sure you’ll achieve the same safety advice but I’m going to list some of the common sense ones here (as they say common sense aren’t really that common):
1. Don’t give out too many personal details on yourself until they are able to build a mental picture of who you are.
2. Try not to share photos of your loved ones online especially children. Putting a smiley sticker on their faces doesn’t help because there is software out there that are able to reverse your photoshopped skills.
3. Don’t geotag your photos anywhere.
4. If you are a digital nomad, don’t give instant location whereabouts. Play safe by only posting location photos after you leave the place or the country. I have seen travel bloggers who share their locations freely live on the spot.
5. Of course, never tell the public where you live and work exactly. They can guess pretty much in the general area but never the street itself. I’ve seen Instagram where people posted themselves standing in front of their houses.
6. If you get weird emails, phone calls or felt someone is following you, lay low on the internet and social media for awhile. Tell someone about it and change your online profile to private. Never ignore your instincts, they might save you!
You might think I’m being overly cautious but if I can easily find information about you online and build a mental picture of you, your address, your likes and dislikes, your family members even your pet, so can predators. Better play safe than sorry!
Share your thoughts below and if you have better online safety advice, please do share with us.
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.