Sunday, 6 September 2015

How to Stay Safe as a Blogger

   I just finished watching Becca Rose's vlog on her recent experience of being burgled, and it has really made me think about what kind of things I'm doing to make sure that I, and the people around me, are as safe as possible. Having someone break into your most private environment, and help themselves to the things that have value to you (be it monetary OR sentimental), is something that I hope will never happen to any of you - and if it has already, I truly hope you've recovered or are recovering.

   Becca's vlog has made me consider how difficult it can be for bloggers and vloggers, people who live much of their lives online in a modern and thriving community, to ensure that they are being as safe as possible when it comes to sharing information. Although it is a great thing to interact with the world in this way - making videos, posting images, writing posts - the online world does come with its fall backs, including hacking, trolling and even identity theft (I've heard too many stories of popular blogging personalities being copied completely by an unknown person, claiming to be someone they aren't). However, it is even more frightening when that online threat becomes a physical one, which is why I've compiled a few tips about keeping safe as a blogger or vlogger.

   There's no doubt that we should all make safety a priority; so I can't stress these points enough.

1. Keep backgrounds plain

   When shooting an outfit, video, or even just when you're out and about Instagramming in your home town, try to keep your background plain. Anything from landmarks to street names to road signs can let people know where you are, so either blur any details out, or photograph against an unidentifiable background.

2. Never let people know that you're about to go on holiday

   It makes me nervous when my friends publish Facebook statuses saying something like, '12 days until Australia!', because they're letting everyone know when they'll be leaving the country, and where they'll be going. When I go on holiday, I usually leave social media for after I come back; this way, I can stay relatively safe, and enjoy a holiday where I'm not glued to my phone.

Image from Style at Home
3. Don't film a house tour

   Just moved in or redecorated? Congrats! New spaces and re-inspired decor are sure to get anyone excited, and it's pretty tempting to share it with everyone in a house tour. Now, I love a house tour more than anyone - I love decorating, and I love getting inspiration from my favourite bloggers - but I'm always thinking that the blogger is putting themselves at risk by showing everyone the layout of their home and where they keep certain valuable items.

   If you're dying to film something about your house, you could always shoot close-ups of particular items or spaces that won't give away the layout.

4. Keep sensitive situations involving other people private

   Certain occurrences - for example, an argument with someone at work - are not meant for the online world. It could make a bad situation worse, and could even lead to legal action, blackmail, or a disruption to your professional and personal life. 

   Be careful who you're writing about, and always ask for their consent first (blogs are subject to libel law, which means that posting something false about a person or a business could incur penalties).

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