This is a collaborative post.
There are many things that you should know before starting to blog online, one of which is how to protect your online presence. The internet can be a big and scary place, even though it also has the potential to open doors, provide help and support, and of course give you the means to put your blog posts on the internet for others to benefit from. So, if you intend to start blogging, make sure that you do the relevant research as well as take these top tips into consideration, so as to keep yourself as safe as possible online.
1. Don’t engage with suspicious or inappropriate-looking activity
When you work online, you have the chance to interact and meet a great number of different people from all over the world. Each person you meet will have a different backstory, reason for interacting with you, and agenda behind approaching you. Most of the online exchanges that you will have with people will likely be friendly and innocent, however, it is inevitable that you will eventually come across someone whose intentions are not pure.
These people are normally easily identified as they will write, or communicate in a rude, nasty, suspicious, or inappropriate way towards you. Rather than engage with them, you should simply ignore, or block them. This is because you have no idea who that person is, or why they are acting in this way, and if you provoke them further they may retaliate more and more. If you ignore or block them, they are much more likely to withdraw and move on.
2. Use antivirus and IP-changing software
As a blogger, you will likely spend a lot of time online on your own website, as well as that of others. Any activity online brings along with it the risk of viruses and malware attacks. Because of this, it is incredibly important that you protect yourself, your identity, and your brand from such attacks through the use of antivirus, malware, and IP-changing software.
If you work from a laptop, or PC predominantly, then it is fairly straightforward to find and install this software as many companies provide this service. However, if you primarily, or heavily use your phone to work and blog from, then you should look into how to change ip address on android or iPhone devices so as to keep your identity safer when it comes to using these particular devices.
It is clear why you do not want to contract a virus on your device, but many will not realise the importance of hiding or changing your IP address. The reason you want to conceal this information is due to the fact that it is linked to your geolocation, which can make your location easier to find. Not only this but if someone gets a hold of your IP address, they then have the ability to spy on your private online activities.
3. Ensure that you backup all your work and data
To help protect your online presence, something that you should consider doing is regularly backing up all of your work, and data. This is for if in the unfortunate, and unlikely event that you lose everything you have posted. If you do not use a means to backup your work, then it can be a time-consuming, and frustrating process to get yourself back into the position that you have worked so hard to achieve. If however, you have taken the time to secure all of your work and data, it can sometimes be rectified in a matter of minutes. Loss of data and work can happen for many different reasons ranging from server problems to a targeted attack on your business.
4. Remember that everything is traceable and forever
Many people forget that even when something is deleted from the internet, there will still be some traces of it left, and can be used to identify, or even trace a person. If you are a blogger then you will likely use some form of social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, or Instagram, as well as potentially owning your own website where you publish your blog posts.
If you are trying to protect your online presence then you should be careful about how much personal information you are putting on these websites and social media platforms as the information could be gathered and used by people that you may not particularly want to know that information. Something that many bloggers will do to help strengthen their online safety is to create an alias and limit the amount of personal, or exact locational information that they post.
5. Don’t share your personal login details
This might seem like an obvious thing to do, but you would be surprised at just how many people share their usernames and passwords with friends and families. This is all well and good when things are good between people. However, relationships no matter how strong can always turn nasty in the blink of an eye.
You might think that sharing a username or password for something as common as Netflix may not be a problem, but a lot of people will use similar, or sometimes even the same login details for every account that they own. If this is something that you do you should heavily consider having different login details for your private/non-essential accounts to your professional and essential accounts, as this is another easy way to get hacked or targeted. Account safety is something that you should take seriously so as to protect your online presence as a blogger.
There are of course a great many other things to take into account when protecting your online presence and safety as a blogger, but if this is a profession that you currently do, or are interested in exploring you should at least take the time to consider, and implement these top tips.