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Blogging Safety


I was reading about Darren's ordeal with a blog stalker, and recently I was asked by a potential client why I don't list my phone number/physical address on my websites and I thought it would be a good topic to discuss here.

Do you really know who is reading your blogs and gathering information about you?

For the longest time, I had my phone number and mailing address published on my websites because I wanted to make myself as transparent as possible.

I had one brief run in about two years ago, but it wasn't enough to deter me from making myself accessible. I simply changed it to a Mail Boxes Etc. and a dedicated number I use for work (which I subsequently changed).

Then, last year I had the scare of a lifetime.

Reading through the comments showed me that Darren and I are not alone.

I made a comment on my own post, and I believe it fits here:
...people forget there are millions upon millions of people on the internet everyday and you never really know who?s reading your website or their mental state.

But we become so comfortable with the ones who make themselves known and seem mentally stable that we completely forget about the ones who aren?t.

Publishing an address and phone number can be just fine when you run a large company and have ways to protect your personal safety through the corporate veil, but what about those who work from home or in small offices?

I, like many other internet marketers, work from home. The last thing we need is for a complete stranger to pop up at our front door while we're baking cookies or traipsing around the house in our PJs (this actually happened to someone I know - and yes, she was using a PO Box - using a PO Box or Mail Boxes Etc. address isn't going to cut it. People can and will track you down).

Did you know that your photos reveal more about you than you may realize? For instance, if you snap a quick photo while you're outside your home - are the street numbers in the photo? Do you have another photo on your site with your street sign clearly in it? If you recently had a baby, do you have a photo with the hospital's name in it? Do you let your readers know which region of the world you live in?

To the average person, this may not seem like a big deal - but, the observant individual can string all of these things together and figure out exactly where you live, when you eat, when you sleep, and where you go each day.

I'm not saying you should live in complete fear while you're online (that's just plain unreasonable), but possibly be more aware of the information you publish.

So, what are you doing to keep yourself safe online? Do you use your real phone number/address or a proxy? Do you even worry about online stalkers?

I'm curious to see some of the answers listed.

Linda Buquet

Hi Teli,

Another great post and good thing to talk about. I read about Darren's ordeal too. You know I am just way too trusting and don't think about things like this, but you have a point. You just never know about some people.

I too am interested to hear what others think about this!