There can be a great amount of satisfaction and personal expression which comes with creating a personal blog to share your experiences and opinions. Unfortunately, with this self-expression and openness, comes certain vulnerabilities to people who have bad intentions.
The internet can be a wonderful place and yet also somewhere that you should be cautious. It is important to find a balance between being open and self-expressive and also protecting your identity and privacy to avoid being a victim of harassment or identity theft.
Here are some of the best ways to arm yourself when choosing your blog’s layout and maintaining the integrity of your private information.
Include a Professional Email Only
Rather than including a contact email which you use for personal messages with friends and family, choose an email which you create strictly for your blog. This should be a name which likely has the name of your blog as an address or something simple which people can use easily.
Once you have created and included this information in your profile section, you will want to secure your Gmail account to avoid any unwanted hacking or people accessing your mails. Google provides information on how to do this from within your settings and is very simple to follow if you aren’t the most tech-savvy.
Don’t Include Widgets Which Share Location Information
When choosing your design layout, it can be tempting to add all sorts of widgets which are great in theory. However, make sure that you aren’t choosing things which include geo-tagging or GPS enabled applications which can give the whereabouts of your location to anyone that looks for it.
It can be easy to assume that you could never be a target, but the truth is, no one really suspects they could become a target until they become one.
Never Include Your Real Name
Consider using a pen name for your personal blog. Particularly if your blog could jeopardize your professional life. Your name can be anything from “Tired Mom” to “Man With a Calculator.” Your pen name should be included at the top of your page next to the header, and should summarize what the content of your blog is about.
If you include your real name you risk people looking you up and trying to find information about your personal and professional life outside of your blog. In this instance, it is much better safe than sorry.
Don’t Link To Your Personal Social Media Accounts
Rather than including links to your personal Facebook and Instagram accounts, consider creating a fan page or group for yourself which limits the information which you share. If you include your personal account in your widget, then someone could access your personal information about what city you live in, where you work, and the places which you frequent.