7 Points Of Safe Blogging

    Rahul Desai

    My definition: I feel like writing something and sharing it with the world, it’s Blogging.

    As of Wikipedia, it’s something written in a chronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order and bla-blah something. There's a lot they have to say. Visit their page in your jobless hours: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog.

    However, my definition of writing something (or anything) is good if it was not being shared over the web for everyone to view, interpret and react to. Though the constitution of Republic of India allows me to speak, write and bark, the world wide coverage of the web works on its own rules. I must see that my expressions of emotions aren’t hurting any soul of this free world in any manner.

    Do check “Blogging Consequences” section on Wikipedia.org to learn more. However, that is the reaction part. Here are some proactive points one can consider while/before blogging (or in turn, decide not to blog at all). Here are Do’s and Dont’s of writing on pubic portals. Strongly recommended reading!

    BLOGS are like personal telephone calls crossed with newspapers. If you’ve blogged about something controversial, say a bad co-worker, chances are you’d want to keep things as anonymous as possible. Here are some techniques that will help you be the Artful Dodger by which you can endlessly rant against a faulty set up and not end up with an egg on your face.

    1. Blog Carefully

    Use a pseudonym and don’t give away any identifying details. When you write about your workplace (a popular choice), be sure not to give away telling details. These include things like where you are located, how many employees there are, and the specific sort of business you do. Even general details can give away a lot. If, for example, you write, ‘I work at an unnamed TV news channel in Bangalore’, it’s probably now clear that you work in one of a few places. Don’t post pictures of yourself. And, remember that almost any kind of personal information can give your identity away. Also, if you are concerned about your colleagues finding out about your blog, do not blog while you are at work. Period. You could get into trouble for using company resources like an Internet connection to maintain your blog.

    2. Use Anonymising Technologies

    Anonymous BloggerThere are a number of technical solutions for the blogger who wishes to remain anonymous. Invisiblog.com is a service that offers anonymous blog hosting for free. You may create a blog there with no real names attached. Even the people who run the service will not have access to your name. If you are worried that your blog-hosting service may be logging your unique IP address and thus tracking what computer you’re blogging from, you can route your Internet traffic through what’s called an ‘overlay network’ that hides your IP address. More importantly, this makes it difficult for snoops on the Internet to follow the path your data takes and trace it back to you. Anonymizer.com offers a free downloaded ‘Anonymous Surfing,’ which routes your Internet traffic through an anonymising server and can hide your IP address from the services hosting your blog.

    3. Use Ping Servers

    If you want to protect your privacy while getting news out quickly, try using ping servers to broadcast your blog entry for you. Pingomatic.com is a tool that allows you to do this. The program will send out a notice (a ‘ping’) about your blog entry to several blog search engines. Once those sites list your entry, which is usually within a few minutes, you can take the entry down. Thus the news gets out rapidly and its source can evaporate within half an hour. This protects the speaker while also helping the blog entry reach people fast.

    4. Limit Your Audience

    Many blogging services allow you to designate individual posts or your entire blog as available only to those who have the password, or to people whom you’ve designated as friends.

    5. Register Your Domain Name Anonymously

    Even if you don’t give your real name or personal information in your blog, people can look up the records for your domain name and find out who you are. If you don’t want anyone to do this, consider registering your domain name anonymously. The Online Policy Group (OPG) offers privacy-protective domain name registration at https://www.onlinepolicy.org/forms/ opg-domain-create.shtml

    6. Blog Without Getting Fired

    A handful of bloggers have recently discovered that their labors of love may lead to unemployment. By some estimates, dozens of people have been fired for blogging, and the numbers are growing every day. The bad news is that, in many cases, there is no legal means of redress if you have been fired for blogging. (An interesting and fairly famous read: My Blog Ate My Career)

    7. Blog away!

    You can no longer safely assume that people in your offline life won’t find out about your blog, if you ever could. New RSS tools and services mean that it’s even easier than ever to search and aggregate blog entries. As long as you blog anonymously and in a work-safe way, what you say online is far less likely to come back to hurt you.

    This article is about Safety, Blogging and written by Rahul Desai. An irregular blogger, slow-paced reader and an optimistic pro-government Indian, Rahul is an information security professional with an undying urge to write reading-worthy articles. Read all their articles.

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