No, I’m sorry, this isn’t about NSI, which i’m totally writing 100% of the day except this post.
I’ve ignored a website in the past because, back when they first started their “campaign”, I figured a) the deluded doxxing of reviewers was an anomaly and, b) hey, let’s not give them any exposure. Boy, was I wrong. Doxxing of readers/writers/reviewers/book bloggers etc. is apparently a thing. Not only doxxing, but stalking! And conking people with wine bottles after FLYING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY TO STALK THEM AT A GROCERY STORE! Wholly shit. We have some deluded people out there.
This post is about privacy, how to protect yours. Who knows, maybe I’ll save someone from getting conked on the noggin by a deluded idiot who shouldn’t be allowed on the internet, let alone near humans.
I’m going to address tips that I believe are specifically helpful in our communities, as well as a few general ways to remain private.
1. On Facebook with your real life information? If possible, keep your reviewer/author accounts on places like Goodreads and Booklikes separate and anonymous. You can still share your love of a book, you can still talk about your favorite authors, but keeping your real life name away from those accounts could, in the long run, be beneficial. Something to think about.
2. When you comment on a website, try and use a proxy server or a VPN (virtual private network). Proxy.org is a good place to start, but you can also download the tor browser and use that. https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en Why do I recommend that? Because you can be doxxed (traced/outed) through your IP address. A determined stalker will find you that way. Remember that when you click on a link from twitter/blogs/facebook and you enter someone else’s website, they get your IP address, your location, your browser and all kinds of info.
3. When leaving comments, have a specific account set up for just that purpose and keep it separate from your real life information. Different email address, different username, different everything.
4. If something requires you to login to your Facebook account in order to comment, RUN.
5. Keep every single bit of information if someone stalks you or tracks you. Screenshot it, keep the screenshots and copies of the interaction on a cloud account. Make sure you document everything, even if it’s just one incident. You don’t know when things might escalate.
I’m hoping that some of these tips help y’all. I also hope that none of you actually ever ever ever need them. 99.9% of us out there have zero interest in stalking or finding anything about people other than what they want to tell us. But hey, if there’s 100,000 people out there in our little community, the .1% who are creepy and stalkery doesn’t seem like such a small number, does it?
Stay safe, peeples!
PS: I’M WRITING I’M WRITING!
PPS: If you have any other tips for people, please leave them in the comments (anonymously, ofc =D)