Content creators are anyone that produces content for the mass public online - whether you are a streamer, video producer, artist, or writer. More so than many, creator lives will be played out online for anyone to see within a quick Google, so it is important that you know how to protect yourself.
If you're just starting your creator journey, or if you are already established - you should be aware of all the points within this article, and if not, put them in place today to save yourself some unknown stress tomorrow.
Your privacy as a content creator will always be challenged, but there are many ways to ensure you have the best practices in place to protect yourself.
Common internet safety tips will include the following, and these are something that all internet users should abide by:
Use unique passwords for your accounts. A common password should not be used across multiple platforms.
Use lower case and upper case letters, as well as symbols and numbers.
Use an email address that does not have your full name presented in it. For example, John James Smith should avoid using email@example.com.
Use 2 factor, via text message, email or with an authenticator.
Be mindful of who you are giving details to, and why they are asking for them.
Always be aware of data protection laws.
There are websites that scan the internet for stolen passwords, this is something additional that can be used.
Take some time to research the free information available out there about you. You can use sites such as Pipl to assess this and blacklist.
Social media comes hand in hand with content creation. With billions of users on a global scale, social media is the best marketing and publicity tool that exists in our modern world. For content creators, we have the following advice:
Keep your business and personal profiles separate. Not only will this ensure a higher protection of privacy, it will allow you to peruse social media as a regular user away from your work, which is only a bonus towards a healthy mental balance.
Don't use location tags on your photos, and be aware of what you are photographing. Taking a picture of a local landmark and captioning "this is 5 minutes walk from my house" will give a rough geographical area of where you live. Be mindful of what others in your household are posting as well, if they are publicly connected to you.
Remove EXIF data from pictures, as well as anything that is personally linked to you.
Avoid using your full name on social media profiles linked to your businesses. Even better, chose a new name that you are referred to in all creator business matters - much like actor stage names.
Do not, and I cannot stress this enough, do not reveal your travel plans.
Be aware that every detail you share about your personal lives on social media, is another piece of the puzzle to the wrong person.
Brief your family and friends on the safety implications of oversharing, especially if they are publicly linked to you.
In reaction to news earlier today, I think speaking about channel safety is probably the hot topic of the day. As we said in our tweet , your channel is your passion AND your career or hobby in most cases.
When a leak that is this monumental, less than 36 hours after the take down of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, it will make any regular internet user think twice about the information they're putting out there and also - the information that sites have stored about them.
Keep a unique email address for your channels. This should be different to your public, business email address.
Have a completely unique and difficult password. You can always use a random password generator for ideas on what a secure password should look like.
Use 2 factor. 2 factor is a free, very simple way to lock down your account should someone get a hold of your password. Without the code on your device, they cannot access your channel, and you are alerted to an attempt to break into it.
Limit the amount of details on your channel about you. Twitch panels are great for a written introduction to potential new members of your community - but be aware of how they read.
Use a PO box, not your home address.
Information like birthdays, full names, nicknames, favourite pets, first car - these questions are leading. With this information, some people can circumvent secret questions to unlock accounts.
A really good tip - pick a different birthday and name.
Do not use your personal PayPal account, switch it to business or create a business one.
Utilise a VPN to hide your IP and personal info.
Specifically in the case of today's incident:
Change your password.
Change your stream key.
Enable 2 factor (I will keep saying this!).
Change the password of anything that is linked to Twitch; Stream Labs, Prime Gaming, Amazon etc.
The biggest tip I want to stress is to not panic. We are all very aware of the public nature of the internet, and as a creator, your brand is you. Many safety tips for online use are very much common sense, but due to the nature of content creator work, you need to be a little more aware of what that means for you. If you follow the above points, you are doing as much as possible to protect your privacy and your channel's safety.
If you think of any more tips or advice for internet safety, you can find us on social media @getrektlabs