How do you stay safe online when earning money for yourself and your business? In particular, selling digital content…
For starters, the absolute must is to ensure your location is turned off when making and editing any content you create to sell. Your phone records your location data and this information is encoded into digital files you create on your phone called EXIF data. If you don’t have the location switched on, it minimises the risk of that information being in the file.
If you are using an editing app, chances are the app is creating a brand new file that won’t have the information in it but that’s not certain so once you have completed your files, run them through an EXIF removing app – there are plenty to choose from!
Secondly, I cannot stress to you enough how important it is for both your peace of mind and security to invest in a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will alter your IP address, location and even work across multiple devices. (I currently use express VPN which protects across multiple devices and they offer a yearly or monthly fee!) Your IP address can give your exact address and tell someone who else you live with and that can then be looked up on facebook and used against you.
Never (and I mean NEVER) give anyone your personal details, hometown, workplace or anything that can link to you. The men that want to find you can use seemingly unimportant pieces of information to piece together your location. No matter how good the terms you’re on with someone don’t put yourself or your family at risk. Be as absolutely general as possible or lie about what you do and where you are.
Make sure that your drive for sharing files is used solely for work and is connected to a brand new email address that you haven’t used elsewhere online outside SW. If you want to, disable the download feature on your laptop inside G Drive or whatever file transfer you are using. Screen capture is obviously a possibility so make sure you watermark your work.
As tempting as it may be, never use any pictures for your business that are any way associated with your real life online world, that’s FB, insta, twitter you name it. Images can be reverse Google searched online and it will expose you if found. All images you use in your business should only be used in your business, for your business and nowhere else.
When creating your content be sure to check your background, make sure there are no family pictures or personal information. If you’re doing a live session, never agree to screen share and make sure your laptop has superior virus and spyware.
Have you considered what you would do if someone threatened to leak your content? It’s worth running the scenario through your mind to see if it alters content you’d make or sell.
Remember ladies and lads, your security is key to your peace of mind, safety and business! Don’t take short cuts.. don’t take risks.. be smart be safe!
*blog post written by SophieKnight and Dalma