opinion

Staying Safe Online and in Person as a Creator

Staying Safe Online and in Person as a Creator

‘They stole my computer.”

“What? Are you sure?”

You can have fun and shoot content while out or traveling, without risking your safety or the safety of those with you.

I don’t need to hear the answer, though. The truth is staring back at us from the now-empty desk littered with scraps of paper, empty Fiji water bottles and leftover burger wrappers. Underneath, a flattened white rectangle in the carpet offers the only proof that the custom-built streaming desktop computer was ever there.

Years of content, all gone. Thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, gone. Feeling safe in your own home? Guess what: also gone. Luckily, my friend was able to move, but she never recovered her stolen property, even after she found out who broke into her home.

No one ever thinks it’s going to happen to them, until it does. That’s why it’s important to take your personal privacy and security seriously.

The Best Protection Is Prevention

Sometimes “shit happens” and there is nothing you can do about it. But there are some basic steps you can take to safeguard your home, your assets and yourself. Covering those bases means you can relax a bit, knowing that you have done all you can.

Let’s start with the most basic element of privacy: where you live. Everyone gets excited when a package arrives, but most people don’t realize how easy it is for someone to get the final shipping destination from Amazon once they’ve placed an order off your Amazon wish list.

This is why getting a P.O. box is one of the first things I advise anyone to do when starting out in adult work — especially if you hope to receive gifts or need a business mailing address for shipping things to fans. Be warned, though: Having a P.O. box won’t help if you aren’t also careful to make sure nobody targets you by staking out the box!

Try Not to Use Your Real Name

Lady Gaga’s real name isn’t Lady Gaga. The same is true about Jay-Z, 50 Cent and myriad other performers. You should not use your real name online. In fact, I strongly advise against it.

Artists have used stage names for ages. It is about more than just branding and marketing; it also impacts safety and privacy. Using your legal name, celebrating your real birthday publicly or posting other sensitive identifying information — such as pictures or videos with your license plate in them, the street you live on, what the front of your house looks like, what car you drive and who your family is — are all risky actions that make it significantly easier for anyone to find you.

Be Wary of Location Reveals

You may aspire to be like the popular models and influencers on Instagram or TikTok, who post their whereabouts every second of the day, but don't risk your safety or the safety of those with you. You can still have fun and shoot content while out or traveling; simply wait until after you’ve left a particular location or destination before posting the content you shot there. It’s not hard to queue up a few days’ worth of content before you leave on a trip, for daily release as if you’re still back home.

Home Security Systems

Investing in a security system does more than keep out nosy neighbors; it deters likely threats and potential break-ins. If you live in a house, it’s worth looking into a digital security system. Cameras posted around the property, and a motion-activated light outside doors and windows, can work wonders.

Or just adopt a big fuzzy dog! For home security, almost nothing beats Clifford the Big Red Dog. Even the Taco Bell chihuahua barks loud enough to wake you up. Dogs are one of the best forms of security, plus they’re good for your mental health! Thank me later.

Prioritizing Safety Pays Off

Setting up security systems, adopting a stage name and never posting immediately from where you are may seem like a lot of effort, but ultimately the peace of mind is worth it. It will help you enjoy your work more, do your job better — and even make more money, since other creators will be more likely to work with you, knowing they will not have to worry about their own safety.

I’m not suggesting you live in fear, just that you do all you can to protect and take care of yourself. Self-care extends beyond facials and massages! Get a security system, get a dog and be safe. It’s better to have these measures in place and never need them, than to discover you need them when it’s too late.

SmartyKat314 is a multi-nominated adult content producer and performer. Specializing in full-length role-play videos, she has amassed hundreds of millions of views online during the course of her career. Find her @SmartyKat314 on Twitter and Instagram, as well as SmartyKat314.com.

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