I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to give out my actual address and phone number to strangers online. However, my email service provider, Mailchimp, requires a real physical address. So does my web hosting provider. And clients sometimes want to talk on the phone, which requires a phone number. So I have no choice but to give out my information.
That can be kind of scary.
As my email list grows, my physical address goes out to more and more people. That’s a little unsettling. Now, I choose not to live in a state of fear about this kind of thing. Sure, it’s possible that something could happen if my information got into the wrong hands, but the actual reality of that happening is different than a scared brain makes it seem.
I used to keep my family’s names out of my blog posts a long time ago too, but I decided to stop acting from fear, as an intentional choice.
I know nothing is completely foolproof, but I’ve found some great way to add a level of safety to my online presence that you can try too.
3 Ways To Protect Your Identity As A Freelance Writer and Blogger
- Get a ViaBox address. If you don’t plan on getting any actual physical mail, you can use this service for free. They give you an alternative address to use for your mail, so you don’t have to use your family home address. Another option would be to open up a PO Box at your local post office. I didn’t really want the hassle (or cost) of doing that, plus I don’t anticipate getting any mail.
- Get a Google telephone number. Signing up for a Google phone number is free. I learned about this one from Gina Horkey. Some of my clients use Zoom or Skype calls to protect their personal telephone numbers, so those are also viable alternatives. I had fun with this one because I was able to put the words “flash me” in my phone number, which goes with my whole FlashFit theme.
- Web hosting privacy protection. This option costs. When you purchase web hosting, you must disclose your physical address. What this means is, if someone wanted to, they could look you up. I even did this myself when I was looking for the owner of a domain I wanted. I contacted the owner of the site this way because his information was provided (He didn’t want to give it up. Sigh). Knowing this, I feel a little weird about having my own information up for grabs. Thankfully, Bluehost has a privacy service, and I’m sure the other hosting providers do too. So, make sure you spend a little extra to keep your information private.
I hope this article has given you some great ideas for keeping yourself safer on the internet.
So, tell me…
What ways do you try to protect your privacy online? Do you try not to live your life in fear too?
PS. Have you seen my free 7-day series, Freelance Freedom From Corporate? I’m spilling the beans about how I was able to make the leap within 5 months.