How to Become a Better Blogger 2: Online Privacy

The Better Blogger is aware that blogging is based on relationship building. There are no shortcuts to relationship-building. You need to lay the foundations by being clear about who you are, what you are about and what you hope to achieve through the new relationship.

In the first article in this How to Become a Better Blogger Series we briefly examined the need to introduce yourself to your readers and to consider who your readers are under two subtitles:  Who are you?  Who is Your Audience?

In this post I would like to focus on Online Privacy.

Who Are You?

Blogging Under Your Real Name

The proponents of blogging under your real name take the position that  doing so provides:

  • a sense of responsibility for the things they blog about and publish;
  • readers a clear idea of their interests and preoccupations;
  • business and professional advantages of becoming a well know name in a chosen field.

My blogging tip is that if you are a make money blogger, or yours is a business blog or a professional blog, then you may want to consider blogging under your real name and posting a recent photo. Blogging under your real name allows you to build a name and branding credibility for yourself  and your blog in your area of interest.

If you are a business or professional blogger who desires the freedom to be more casual in your blog, or if you want to develop a tone and persona online that’s different than the normal you, then blogging under a pseudonym will be the better choice to make.

Further reading:
The Name Game: Transparency, Authenticity, and Being Your True Self
Blog under your real name, and ignore the harassment
Photo credit

Online Privacy

Both within the blogosphere and without, the proponents of blogging under your real name and proponents of blogging under a pseudonym appear to be evenly split.

But how personal is too personal? How shocking is too shocking? How will what we post today affect our personal safety? Our relationships with friends and family? Our future job prospects? Our customer relations?

How do we remain true to ourselves and our unique voices, while making sure our online world doesn’t intrude negatively on the three-dimensional one? — Jenn Thorsen in Wave!– The World is Watching

For most people being anonymous on the Internet is not a life-or-death matter. You aren’t dissenting against a fascist police state, or trying to hide from the secret police or from a crazy ex-lover who means to do you harm. You are anonymous because you want to keep a modicum of privacy. It is an easy goal to achieve if you put some thought into it. — engtech in Web Anonymity 103 – Online Privacy

I recommend reading the following:
Web Anonymity 101 – Digital Breadcrumbs as an introduction;
Web Anonymity 102 – A Case Study of how easy it is to find information about a person online;
Web Anonymity 103 – Online Privacy on steps to protect your online identity;
How to Blog Safely (About Work or Anything Else).

Who Are You?

Blogging Under a Pseudonym

The proponents of blogging under a pseudonym take the position that blogging under your real name has  led to:

See also: At the Uneasy Intersection of Bloggers and the Law
Photo credit

Posting Contact Information Safely

Spammers have several ways to collect valid email addresses. It’s also noteworthy that some viruses that spread themselves by email read the browser’s cache of the infected computer to find possible victims: so if an infected computer is used to browse a web page containing your address, the virus might sends itself to you via an infected mail from that computer. There are simple ways to prevent such spam bots from doing their “dirty work”. Four such strategies can be found in Eluding Email Address Spam Bots.

How to become a Better Blogger Series

  1. How to Become a Better Blogger 1
  2. How to become a Better Blogger 2:Online Privacy
  3. How to become a Better Blogger 3 Ethics and Links
  4. How to become a Better Blogger 4 Essentials
  5. How to become a Better Blogger 5 Your Online Presence
  6. How to become a Better Blogger 6 Theme Evaluation
  7. How to become a Better Blogger 7 Brand Evolution
  8. How to become a Better Blogger 8 Goal Setting

Read also >  Why About Pages are Essential

68 thoughts on “How to Become a Better Blogger 2: Online Privacy

  1. I began using my real name after having given it quite a lot of thought. It wasn’t easy for me to do because I’m a very private person (except in some areas, as I wrote about yesterday) but when I began blogging publically part of the reason was to give me somewhere to show my artwork – which I show with my real name on it. So it seemed a bit pointless to use a pseudonym to blog when my name was already ‘out there’ elsewhere.

    I’m aware of the dangers, and they scare me. But this is my problem at the moment – and I’m actually almost at crisis point with it – of how much I want to be a part of the internet as it is at the current time. The trouble is that, as we both know – once something is out there, it’s out there forever. From search engine cache pages and anything anyone else might have taken for themselves, one isn’t a private entity anymore.

    Thanks for your post. I’ve not read all the posts/articles you’ve linked to you (there’s a lot of them and my concentration’s not brilliant at the moment) but I’ll return to read them later.

    Val

      1. Thanks for that link tt. Most of what you refer to in it are things that wouldn’t happen to me on Facebook as I am very careful about how much info I have there, even for my own personal friends. Also, I don’t have my birthdate, phone number, address or where I went to school/college. And, in real life, I’m ex-directory.

        Also, maybe I’m wrong, but from what I recall there was such an uproar about the security problems with FB back in May, that they actually changed a lot of them. The settings are much better now, though I’ve currently not even got many interests listed as they link back as clickable links to fan pages of the interest. That is something I detest.

        Things can still be discovered though, and not just online. Even without the internet, people risk identity theft from failing to take care of some simple security in their personal and business lives, such as shredding delicate information.

        And then there are the folk who put all their personal stuff online, publically, on genealogy sites – risking not just their own privacy but everyone else’s in their family. So damned stupid!

        Val

  2. I don’t have much to worry about. I use my real name, show my face, but don’t give away too much about myself, or any contact info/address (not that anyone will travel here just to threaten me or anything).

    It’s pretty safe, blogging in English in an island where most of the few serious bloggers use Spanish, the native language, and where those who enjoy reading local blogs won’t bother with English.

    Also, who’d want to stalk me? :P

  3. I use my real name, Robert Stanley and its fairly safe. There are tens of thousands of people with the exact same name. I think I am at greater risk using my credit card in a cafe…

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