Staying Safe Online As A Blogger

The digital media world is astronomical. There are so many influencers online, on blogs, vlogs and social media, and so many of these influencers share content with the world.

However, having an online presence means that one must be careful. To put it bluntly, there are a lot of bad people out there who will take pieces of your personal information, put them together and try to use this information to find you, stalk you and harass you. Also, many people online are not always who they say they are.

As a blogger myself, the online world is a great place to be and it's a great thing to be a part of, but it's important to stay safe and secure too.

1. Hide personal details
On my blog and social media channels it's clear that I am from London, but I don't disclose exactly where I am from. I'm very careful about my personal details. Never reveal personal details - i.e. date of birth, exact location, address, phone number, full name, place of study/work, etc - that could make you easy to find in person and/or a victim of identity theft. Also, if you use Instagram or YouTube, be cautious of where you take pictures or film. Never film anywhere that could make where you live easily identifiable (e.g. outside of your house.)

All in all, you wouldn't give away your personal details to John Smith on the street, so don't do so online.

2. If you have to meet up, do so publicly
I have never ever met anyone in public when I initially met them online first. I don't think I ever would, but if I did, I would make sure I would meet them in a public place with loads of people around. For myself, that's not hard to do as I live in a big city. I would never invite a stranger into my home. I am very picky about who I let into my life anyway so I like to get to know a person in-depth first.

3. Don't check in
I absolutely despise the 'check in' function. Why must I check in? Why must people know exactly where I am? It's no-one's business! Anyway, never check in. It gives some people a chance to stalk and harass you, and it might give some criminals prime opportunity to rob your residence while you are away.

4. Post on social media after the event
If you go out, make sure you post after the event, not during the event, for the same reasons I mentioned for not 'checking in.' Like I said previously, there are some not very nice people who are looking for the opportunity to stalk and harass you, and given the opportunity they can do this just by looking at your activities on social media.

5. Be careful what you post
I have to admit, I am guilty of posting certain things on social media - rants and cryptic posts on Facebook and Twitter - only to delete the posts afterwards. I find myself filled with regret afterwards. Now, if I am mad about something I keep calm and think before I post, just because I am aware of how I might come across to potential brands and future employers. When we use social media and online sites we leave digital footprints. Even if you delete a Tweet/post/picture it stays online for a long time, if not forever. One could easily find deleted items online by using the cached function, so be careful - think before you post and be mindful and aware of what you are posting and how that could affect your viewers and readers.

Extra tip: some digital media influencers are lucky to be sent items and freebies for review - myself included - from brands, PRs and fans. Even so, be careful who you hand out your address to. You could request to have products sent to another address - i.e. a work address if your workplace is secure or a university home address if you live in halls. If you receive parcels often then perhaps the best thing to do would be to set up a PO Box.

Do you have any other online safety tips for bloggers and vloggers? If so, please let me know in the comments section.

How do you stay safe online?

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