This Guest Post comes to everyone from Rainy Kayne who has her own blog Rainy of the Dark. I felt this was an important topic since I myself am marketing online and I know many other who do. Please enjoy, visit Rainy’s blog and/or leave a comment.
Marketing advice often includes being yourself: be open, genuine, and share your real life. Of course, you want to be selective with that for professional reasons, but you also need to be careful for safety reasons. Maintaining privacy while creating a network can be difficult. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Your internet alias or pen name is not fool proof. While there are many great reasons to have one, pretending it's iron-strong security is not one of them. Any privacy it once provided disappeared a long time ago. Now it's all too easy for someone to find out who you really are.
Pictures can be revealing. Always check what's going on in the background of a picture before submitting it for the world to see. You might be surprised to realize that a one-of-a-kind location is in the background, your house number, or someone who is also active—but less discreet—online.
Keep in mind what others are doing. On a similar note to the above, be aware of what your network is saying and how you interact with them. For example, leaving a status update saying you're going to walk over to someone's house isn't a great idea for maintaining privacy if that individual happens to have their home address on their profile. Anyone paying attention now knows you live a short distance from that person.
Computers are loaded with information. If you use your real information when creating computer profiles or registering software, be aware this information my transfer with your files. For example, word processing programs often include an “author” name. You can usually use the options menu to change what name is displayed.
Your domain name is sharing too much. Websites like whois.com allow anyone to view the registration information on a domain name. If you haven't added domain privacy to your account, anyone can easily find your name, mailing address and, often times, your phone number.
These are just a handful of the ways your information can accidentally become available. What you feel comfortable sharing is your choice, but it's better to know what is being shared than to be taken by surprise.
How cautious are you about your online activities?
When Rainy Kaye isn't plotting world domination, she enjoys coaching others about it on her blog http://www.rainyofthedark.com She also likes fluffy kittens.