Protecting yourself on the Internet & IRL

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Let’s talk about Internet security & privacy.
I’ve been wanting to write this series of posts for a while, but I kept saying to myself, “Who are you to write this? Why should anyone listen to you?”
Well, for one, I’ve been thinking and researching about this for my own benefit for the past two years. I’m always a work in progress. And I want to write about online safety & security because no one else in my friend or professional circles is talking about it. But we need to be discussing it.
Even if you think that you don’t overshare… if you have any social media account, I urge you to read the following posts and ask yourself some questions to start thinking critically about your online presence.
We don’t talk much about it, but Internet security is important for professionals in the field of fitness & nutrition: dietitians, nutrition coaches, personal trainers, business owners, consultants… Anyone who works from home and lists their home address as their business, those who list their cell phones as a contact number on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Maps, anyone who has a (large or small) following on social media.


Ask yourself, why do you post online?
Why do I post online?
Well, for one, I’m building a business, and I want my advice to be out there! I want people to learn and discover my authentic self and my coaching methods so that they can decide for themselves if they want to work with me.
And two, I like it. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and tips on fitness and nutrition, and I admire others in my profession who do the same.
At the same time, I’m scared.
I think about what happened to me. The crazy insane cyber stalker situation I had to live through. The threatening texts I received.. and some other unbelievable details that I won’t go into.
I think about it. Every. Single. Day.
I think about the horrible, painstaking process of filing a harassment prevention order, and how it doesn’t even come close to protecting me.
I think about the fact that he is still out there, somewhere in the world, probably following me on social media through a fake account.
Does it make me want to flip all my accounts to private or stop posting entirely? Yeah, sometimes. Do I fantasize about training hardcore martial arts, buying an RV, turning into a gypsy nomad, and never revealing my location for the rest of my life? Yes, definitely. But I will not let his actions limit me. Never. If I do choose to become a ninja gypsy nomad, it’s because I want that for my life. It actually sounds pretty cool…
Setting aside my active imagination full of gypsies, ninja kicks, and badassery, let’s talk about how I maintain my real life public social media accounts while feeling safe enough and maintaining my sanity. No martial arts necessary!
First, I want to emphasize that Internet privacy doesn’t happen overnight. If you’ve been posting without a care in the world for years… it’s going to take some time to clean things up and get your accounts and information on lock. Don’t attempt to do this all in one day. As with fitness & healthy eating, you’re not going to change your habits with the snap of your fingers.

1) Start with account security

2) Know what people can see on social media

3) Remain aware

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