I might be crazy but how does 30 days of blogging tips and mom hacks sound? I have a ton of awesome content about how to become a blogger while also being a stay at home mom or a working mother. It’s not easy but it’s totally possible. And it’s time for Day 21, where I share with you some important tips to help you stay safe online as a blogger.
Today I want to talk to you about something very important—internet safety. As you build your business it's important that you learn how to stay safe online as an influencer and blogger. So, I'm going to share with you a collection of tips to help you do just that.
You are putting your information out there
When I opened my first social media account you could really control who was able to see what you were posting. You could easily limit your posts to just your family and friends. By using my social media like this I was trained that it was safe to share personal information about myself because only the people I wanted to see it could see it. I felt safe online.
But, when I started my blog everything was different. The information that I was sharing was public. I wasn't able to control who saw what I was posting on my blog and the same is true for you. Publishing content on your blog means anyone in the world can see it.
If you think about this long enough it can make you want to avoid sharing any personal information on your blog. But, if you want to grow a successful blogging business it's imperative that you have a personal element to help humanize your brand. It helps you stand out from the crowd and creates loyal fans. You help your readers get to know the person behind the blog, which allows them to connect with you.
Stay safe online for you and your family
But, you've got to stay safe online. It might seem like I'm just sharing something with you that's common sense, but it's easy to forget. You have to assume out of all the followers you have there could be at least one that doesn't know where the life s. It's not that they are necessary out to harm you, but they might not know where the line is. They could begin stalking you online, trolling, and creating an unsafe environment for you.
Online safety is so important because your blog impacts your family. You might have decided to create this blog but your kids are kids. They don't really have the maturity to say what they feel is safe for you to share online about them. Your primary job as a parent is to protect your kiddos from the things in the world we don't want to think about.
There are people out there that don't have good intentions. So, you need to make sure everything you share about yourself and your family is reasonable and won't put you all in danger. I can promise you that you'll never regret sharing too little, but you will regret sharing too much.
As my son, James is getting older I'm becoming more private with what I'm willing to share. I still share some videos and pictures on social media but I think ten times about what I share before I hit publish. You never want to get to a point where you realize you put your safety or the safety of your family at risk. Here are some tips to help.
1. Never share pictures of where you live
Never ever share where you live online. Don't post pictures of your house with the house numbers or mention what neighborhood you moved into. It doesn't seem like people would go through the hassle of trying to track you down, but you'd be surprised. There are people that aren't thinking in a healthy way. Even if they don't mean you harm, their curiosity might get the best of them.
It's a lot easier than you might think to find where someone lives from a simple picture. I actually did a test on this a while ago. when I heard about Google Reverse Image Search and wanted to see how it worked. I found a picture of an old house that we used to live in and uploaded it into the search. Just like that, a real estate listing popped up.
Simply by entering that image, I had at my fingertips access to the zip code, street address, square footage and more about that location. That means if you post a picture of the new house you are so proud to have moved into anyone that sees it on the blog could do the same thing. And, without thinking twice about it, you gave them access to where you live.
I know it's tempting to share those first day of school photos or how beautiful your house looks decorated for Christmas, but it's not worth putting your address and privacy at stake.
2. Don't even share the city you live in
This one might not matter as much if you live somewhere like New York City, but if you live in a smaller city or town than make sure you don't give the name. In a large city, it's still going to be hard for people to find you. But, if you live in a small town a fan of your blog could head to the town, start chatting with the cashier at the local grocery store and find out all kinds of things about you.
3. Don't share date of births
You probably want to share photos of your child on their birthday, but be careful about sharing their actual birthday. You can share pictures from their birthday but be vague and nonspecific about the exact date and year. In our house birthday parties usually don't fall on the actual birthday anyway, so I might share a picture but it's not on the actual day.
4. Don't share the state you were born in
It might not seem like a big deal to share where you were born, but when you combine it with #3, it can lead to fraud. You never want to chance having your identity stolen because you shared too much personal information on your blog.
5. Don't share information about your child's school
It's exciting to share the fun things that are going on at your child's school. It might be a program, concert, or sporting event. But, you never want to share the name of the school on social media or on your blog. This could put your child's safety at risk.
If you're wasting time while waiting at the school don't "check-in" at the location or anything like that. And, if your child goes to a private school and their uniform has an emblem on it, make sure you don't share pictures of that either. It's tempting because they look adorable, but it's not information that anyone needs to know.
6. Don't "check in"
I mentioned this above as a way of protecting your child at school, but it's good advice to follow all the time. One time I went to this really unique and cute restaurant. While I was waiting I looked at Instagram to see the other photos people had shared of the restaurant. As I was enjoying their art, a bigger name blogger checked in at the location. It really threw me off.
I was in a big city and here we were at the same location. It really freaked me out. It made me realize that by doing that I knew exactly where they were at that moment. What if they had their kids with them? What if someone had bad intentions? You never know who's in the same place as you at the same time.
It's easy to think "what's someone going to do with this information?" But there are people that are willing to lurk and cross the line. You want to stay one step ahead of them. Face the reality and never check in to an exact location.
Cyber security is an uncomfortable topic
I get that this is an uncomfortable topic. It might even be making you think twice about if you even want to build a blogging business. But, the truth is, you can stay safe online. You can monitor and control how much information you share. You are the person that controls what's on your blog and your social media profiles.
If you want to share pictures of your children and don't want to hold back, then create a separate profile to use for your blog. You don't have to combine your social media for personal and business. You can have a private channel that is just for your personal stuff. Or, sometimes I even go the "old fashioned" route and text a picture of James to the family and friends that I want to see it.
I know there's this joke in society about "if you don't post about it, did it really even happen?" but it doesn't have to be that way. And, it shouldn't be if you're a blogger sharing information with total strangers. Most of those strangers aren't going to do anything dangerous or malicious, but there's always the chance that they might
You never want to get to the point of regretting what you've shared. Always think twice, or ten times, before sharing something. Especially if it's about your children.
And, if you haven't already make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to find out more tips to help you grow your blogging business.