Being safe is extremely important for everyone but doubly so for webcam performers. Here are some of our top tips to keep you safe while you are livestreaming.
- Clear any area that the camera can see. Pictures, diplomas, wallets, mail, etc… move all of that out of frame and better yet, cam in a room where items with personal information never enter if you can.
- Don’t answer personal questions. No one needs to know your high school mascot, the name of your 4th grade teacher or your favorite movie at the age of 8. This is a technique called social engineering and usually used to help crack passwords/challenge questions. It could also be used to verify you on more private social media based websites and the like.
- Consider using a VPN. Most are pretty cheap and it hides your true IP to anyone looking. This can help protect you from DDOS attacks (attacks that knock you offline) and other private data you don’t want out.
- USE 2 STEP AUTHENTICATION! It is free and super easy. 2 Step means you must verify through a special one-time access code anytime you log in to sites usually via email or text message. Yes, it is an extra step to log in; yes, it can be tedious, but it keeps your business safe.
- Strong Passwords. There are people who will try to get into your accounts. Usually called brute force, they try commonly used passwords like password1 to see if they can gain access. If remembering good passwords is hard for you, consider using services like LastPass, which is very cheap and will ensure you have a strong password and don’t have to remember it.
- Don’t click on links that you don’t recognize. You would be surprised how many models and livestreamers get targeted by this.. and it sadly works! If someone puts a link in your chat, a great rule is to NOT click on it, even if you feel you do recognize it. If a staff member needs to get you important information, they know how to (from an official email to the email you have on file).
We meet some amazing people on the internet but there are some bad actors. Keep yourself protected and remain vigilant so that your live cam sessions can be as fun as possible. Predators like to go after the venerable and having even minor barriers in place will detour them from going after you.
If you come across someone who seems to be full of red flags, what options do you have?
- If on a platform, tell a site admin immediately! It could be nothing, but in case it is something at least someone can keep an eye on it.
- Screenshot the incident. Proof can come in handy later for many different reasons.
- Triple check who you are talking to. Similar to the above, some scammers like to pretend to be website staff or someone official. There is nothing so pressing, especially online, that can’t wait till you verify who you are speaking to. Go to official websites, look for contact information and use those methods to verify who the person is. Official social media pages of organizations are also another wise way to go about verifying who you are speaking to and companies have no problem with you doing so.
- Suspicious email? Mark the message as spam. This sends signals to email providers that these emails should be sent to spam folders and may help protect others from seeing them.
- Reach out to other creators. Bad actors rarely offend just once. Knowing about an ongoing campaign early can not only shut it down but also keep other creators safe.
It is hard to know who is a friend and who has malicious intent as an online creator but these tips can help keep you safe. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.