Is It Wise to Share Personal Information in Blogs, Like Addictions?
*This is a guest blog from Patrick Bailey, see his bio at the end*
Blogging remains an exciting and potentially lucrative writing process, particularly for those who write self-help blogs. For example, many inspirational blogs tell individuals recovering from addiction how to stay healthy.
Often these blogs are written from experience, however, they may be a danger if they share too much information about themselves.
Anybody who is going to rehab for alcohol or other drug problems should carefully consider what they can share and still keep themselves safe.
Why Blogging is Therapeutic
Blogging is a unique therapeutic action because it taps into the same emotions that a person triggers when they write a diary or a journal. They are getting their thoughts down on paper, giving them weight, and making their emotions feel more real.
The difference with blogging is that there is a social element involved. It’s on a larger scale; others can read it,
For example, a person blogging about going through addiction therapy may connect to others also going through or considering rehab. This can motivate others to seek rehab, or support them as they go through the same or similar process.
But those who blog must make sure that they don’t cause themselves any other problems. Sharing too much personal information online can be dangerous for anyone, even bloggers writing about addiction.
Sharing Personal Information Can Be an Issue
Over the years, many bloggers who have shared too much personal information have suffered for it.
A hacker may use identifying details in a blog—a writer’s name, birthday, city, job—to track down their address or hack their accounts. With social media and increasingly sophisticated computers and users, it’s very difficult to keep this information secret. Unwary bloggers can lose control of their blog, bank account, and other elements of their life.
Sharing personal information can result in a situation known as “doxing”: when the real-life location of online personalities are revealed and used to harass or even attack them.
If doxed individuals have a substance use disorder, a hacker could share that information with others whom they didn’t want to know.
Such leaks of personal life data are at least embarrassing and might result in heartache, loss of jobs, or relationships with family and friends. Bloggers must learn how to protect themselves from these kinds of attacks.
Protecting Yourself Properly
The easiest way to prevent this issue is never to release personal information when blogging.
- Never share your full name, contact information, pictures, or any other details that may allow someone to easily identify you in a way that may cause issues. That could defeat the purpose of the blog, however.
- Another solution is to use a pseudonym, share photos that hide their face, or use vague or fictional information.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) service. A VPN masks the identity of a computer and gives it a false location that makes it impossible to track. These services are available at a low price and can be swapped between computers, making them very easy to use correctly.
By taking these steps, bloggers can write about addiction and stay safe from anybody trying to invade their privacy.
Addiction blogs can inform and inspire individuals with a current or former substance use disorder. It’s a way to pay it forward or atone for any harm your addiction caused to others and help maintain your sobriety. Help others in the community and be a real source of change. Just protect yourself while you’re at it.
Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.