Before I begin, I want to note that I am not an expert in blog or website safety. My advice for this post comes entirely from what I have been doing to ensure my blog’s safety, as well as for the safety of my subscribers and fellow bloggers.
With that said, lets begin!
The internet has been one of the greatest inventions in my opinion. It has opened up hundreds of doors for communication and knowledge. We can create our own websites like this one here, and we have the freedom and ability to share our thoughts, ideas, and dreams with the world!
Yet, as wonderful as all that is, the internet holds dangers that many of us cannot fully comprehend. Viruses, online relationships that may not be what they seem, questionable videos, and dark content. Like anything in this world, the internet can be a tool used for both good and bad.
We can use the internet for good protect ourselves against the bad by recognizing suspicious things that may pop up on our websites.
Subscribers are amazing, don’t get me wrong! I love seeing when new people discover my blog and take the time to subscribe. It means a lot to me and encourages me to keep on going with my website, even when I have no idea what to write next.
But…be on the lookout.
Some people who subscribe to your site may not be all that they seem.
I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but recently, I’ve had a growing concern for bloggers who may be accepting questionable subscribers. (I’m not kidding).
I have deleted new subscribers in the past after checking their profiles or supposed websites. Some of the new subscriber’s sites were inappropriate, with questionable content and plenty of red flags.
Believe me, I don’t like getting rid of subscribers, and I hope that people from all different parts of the world will enjoy what I have to say here, but I do not want my blog connected with questionable sites that could lead to viruses or hackers.
How can you tell if a subscriber may not be all that they seem?
1. They have foul language or inappropriate pictures splattered throughout their site.
2. They have a high number of subscribers even though they just started blogging. I’m sorry, but that is a red flag for me. Except in rare cases, I guess, no new blogger acquires that many subscribers in such a short time.
3. Parts of their website are in scrambled lettering and don’t make an ounce of sense. I’m not talking about a different language mind you. I’m talking about gibberish.
4. Their blog posts make no sense. They might have a post title and a picture but when you read their post it doesn’t seem to flow right.
If there are red flags, I highly suggest deleting that subscriber.
Another big concern I have is how some people communicated back and forth with commenters they know nothing about.
Yes, thank them for commenting on your post and feel free to answer questions about your blog or posts, but if someone keeps trying to have a conversation with you and you don’t know who they are, I would suggest checking out their profile to see who they are. There are really bad people out there who prey on people’s innocence. You’ve heard the stories, you know the serious problems that can come with communicating with strangers. Now, if it’s your friend commenting back and forth that’s fine, just be aware that other people can see your comments.
3. Sharing personal info
DO NOT SHARE PERSONAL INFORMATION!!!! I cannot say this too loudly, or too boldly. If someone asks you personal questions do not answer them. If they ask you where you live, do not answer them. If they ask you about your personal life or family, do not answer them. If they ask you about your daily routine and where you go every week be extremely careful! It’s alright to mention what you might do during the day or where you go during the week, but never give out specific locations or addresses.
Guys, I’m serious. I get choked up reading about stories where young people gave away too much information to the wrong people who pretended to be their friends but who ended up being the opposite.
If someone keeps asking questions that they have no right to ask, either through the comment section on your blog or through a contact page, please go to your parents or if you are an adult, be extremely careful in any communication you may have with this person.
Also, don’t hesitate to block people. I had to do this a few months ago because this certain blog user seemed to be connected to a pornographic site.
I’m not going to shy away from this because it might be awkward or offensive to someone who loves getting tons of subscribers and comments. My goal is to try and warn you about people and websites with bad intentions.
It can be so easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting new subscribers or tons of comments, but people online aren’t always what they seem.
I want to reach out to all the young people who may not realize the dangers on the internet. I want to make them aware and enable them with ideas on how to safely enjoy the amazing aspects of the internet.
Please, take some time today to look through your subscribers. Evaluate how much personal stuff you’ve been sharing with others.
I don’t share about my family or where I live, or what I do for fun because I know it isn’t safe. I might share a picture here and there but I try not to give away details of my personal life. I don’t share about vacations until after the fact and I never specify where exactly our vacation took place. I do it to keep my family and myself safe.
Keep in mind that our goal is to share Christ’s love with those who may not know Him, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be wise in how we handle online interaction with others. We need to treat people with respect and kindness, but we shouldn’t let our guard down.