To many people blogging is therapy. You can open up to your blog and tell it your darkest secrets. For whatever personal reason, you feel happier getting rid of the demons, sharing the thrills of illicit experiences, or just writing your thoughts in a blog. But, you do not really want someone you meet in the street realising you are the blogger they are following daily.
So, what measures can you take to protect your identity? Well for a start, it can be very tricky. covering your tracks all of the time. Sometimes harmless comments that you make today can be added to previous comments, which ultimately reveal something about you when put together. Mentioning an upcoming holiday or break and spelling out when you are going, or when you are back, can be dangerous.
But, limiting these personal details is not always possible. However, to truly keep your identity safe, you really have to limit the sum total of what you say about yourself.
And then we need to look at actually starting the blog. What must you do then to protect your identity so that you can blog incognito?
Well it all starts when you register your URL. At this point you can end up giving all of your identity away with a single stroke. So make sure that you register the blog correctly, but then opt out of having your identity made public.
By using a self hosted blog you are then in total control of what is shown and how it is shown. With a basic blog set-up you are unlikely to give away many details, apart from your name! Make sure that you set your personal userid up to show a nickname that you can share with people that you are not known by to those you don’t want to recognise you. Display this name with each of your posts.
If you have accidentally left your real name showing on the posts you can quickly change it, but the search engine’s cached pages might retain this information for a while. If you are desperate to hide your identity, the old action open to you is to request the removal of the pages from the search engine listings.
Most bloggers will also want to post comments on other blogs, leave replies on their own and post articles or guest posts. So dream up for yourself a pen name and create a new identity under that name. Give this name an email address under your blog’s URL and create an avatar for this email address, although obviously don’t use a photo of yourself! Maybe a logo or an abstract image.
You can then use this identity whenever you are posting and listing elsewhere, safe in the knowledge that your blog gets the credit, but your identity is protected.