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Vlogger $^1$ gives advice to newcomers on YouTube. by Jules Giggles
So many bloggers are adding to their creative bow by turning their hand to making YouTube videos. Before you start sharing your life on film, have you thought about what precautions you and your family need to take to do it safely? It's rare to hear of anything negative happening to YouTubers sharing their videos online, however, it does happen. I don't want to be in that small percentage, and I don't want you to be in it, either.
YouTube is about making a connection with your audience. Helping them to feel they are having a chat with a mate. Whilst most would be respectful that you have a private life, this isn't always the case. Professional YouTubers such as Zoe Suggs had fans turn up at her home address, shouting outside and ringing her doorbell, thinking it was fine to expect a chat. Now it's only a small percentage of YouTubers that reach her level of fame, but with good content it doesn't take long to build thousands of subscribers. That's thousands of people learning the details of your life and your family. It makes sense to take care.
As a military family, safety through our YouTube video was one of the first things we considered. Here are our top five tips to ensure you and your family stay safe online.
1. Your Child's Information
Be careful about sharing their nursery / school name. A lot can be found out from a school uniform badge in your photos or videos. Worst case scenario (so let's not panic here): some weird person could know their name and enough details from your videos about you to turn up at the school. It also tells them where you will be at the end of the school day to follow you home.
2. Which Leads Us On To Your Home
We personally choose not to film the front of our house or even on our street. By knowing what your front yard looks like, all a stranger needs to work out is your village or street name to find you on Google Earth.
Consider whether there are some windows that could be in shot, showing your street. For example I try not to have one of our downstairs windows behind me in the photo.
3. Your Car
If you're a person who goes out and about or if you're reviewing for example a pushchair or car seat, you will end up showing a bit of your car. Take care though not to show your number plate. Number plates can be traced. Most YouTubers appear to be careful about the angle outside their car.
4. Sharing When You Are Away Or When You Are Alone
I have shared that my husband is away 5 days a week online because otherwise my life wouldn't make sense when I vlog. However, due to doing that I am even more careful about the above points. If I had shared my village name, what my house looks like etc. and then said I am home alone all week, that would invite trouble in. I have seen other YouTubers do it and it makes me worry for them. To protect your home, share that holiday retrospectively, rather than before for example.
For many of us, if we do reviews or accept payments we need to share our address. We occasionally have viewers ask our address so they can send letters, particularly for our son.
Even some registered URLs can be traced to an address. It could be fairly easy for someone to actually be from a fake company, or even an over excited fan, to get your address if you don't fully check them out. And let's be honest, between your trying to finish one of your draft blog ideas, chasing after a toddler with a nappy and organising your family, it's hard to have the time to check into the background of every email.
We chose to set up an office address. I looked into PO box addresses but they were super expensive. A cheaper alternative is renting a "Virtual Tenancy" where a business office agrees to accept your post. They can either forwaard it to you or you can go and collect it.
I hope that has helped you think about how you caand your family could be safe online. YouTube is such a fun place to express yourself, get creative and immerse yourself in another friendly community. I believe itcan add an exciting dimension to your blog. By taking care to do it safely, you can relax in doing so. You never know, one day you may be a famous YouTuber, and you may not want hundreds of fans knocking on your door.
[From http://www.britmums.com/2015/05/staying-safe-on-youtube/ 9.11.15]