I found out many years ago during the time I had my first radio show in 2008, just how easy it is to be located on the Internet.
In two seconds anyone could look up my home address AND the helpful Internet would even provide them with a birds-eye view and a map with driving directions to my front door. CREEPY.
At the time, I had a popular radio show where I often discussed topics concerning love, sex, dating and relationships I had begun to notice that some of my listeners felt as though they knew me—and I was single and living alone.
Fans and admirers can be a great thing, however, sometimes it can be a bad thing when a fan turns into someone who seems unstable. Not often, but often enough I would get the strange email or phone call from men who were strange and inappropriate. So, I made some changes.
The best decision I have EVER made was to get a separate mailing address for EVERYTHING. I no longer ever gave out my home address.
Did you know, that once you give your home address, for a magazine subscription, car loan, credit cards or anything really, at some point it will be made public on the internet if someone digs deep enough?
Sometimes they don’t have to dig very deep at all. Now, in my case, I was lucky because right around the same time I decided to get a mailing address, I also had decided to move. This helped to put an end to the internet bread crumbs that had allowed strangers to be led to my door and truly protected me from anyone trying to find my home address.
Once I moved, I have never had mail sent to my home address or given out my home address ever again. Not on any forms, not to the post office, not for magazines—and I rarely give my home address out to anyone other than very close friends who are coming to visit. I always make sure to tell them—if you want to send me anything in the mail, send it to my mailing address.
If you are single and living alone you can never be too careful. And your home is your only true safe-haven. Especially in this day and age where it has even become easier to cross paths with complete strangers on the internet.
I am extremely protective of my privacy, not only because I too, am a single woman but because I am also in the public eye as a matchmaker and author. Even on Facebook, I purposely do not give my correct location. I never “check in” places and I often post things that are a combination of truth and fiction. Why? Because, strangers should not have complete access to anyone’s private life. And it is amazing how many people really think they know you, know where you live, know how you live or your lifestyle and know all about you because of Facebook or other social media sites.
I just don’t ever really share the entire truth on the Internet. When I speak to women’s groups I strongly urge them to follow my lead and do everything they can to protect their privacy and especially their home address. And if you are a single mother—you must be even more diligent.
Here are a few important tips to help keep you safe:
1. Get a separate mailing address and NEVER put your home address—on anything.
You can find a P. O. Box that has a regular looking mailing address—not a P. O. Box number.
2. Be very careful what information you disclose on Social Media.
People talk about how things you post can often become embarrassing facts later on—however, I look at more from a safety prospective. Don’t be trackable.
3. When you take and post photos make sure to not allow the location to be disclosed.
This is now another way for someone to be able to know your location.
Did you know that you can take a photo you found on the Internet and put it into a Google search bar called Google Images and it will tell you all about the person in the photo?
No one is anonymous anymore.
4. If you are dating on the Internet or using dating apps, always meet in a busy public location and let someone know where you are going.
Or if you are meeting anyone for any reason that you have connected with through the Internet (even to buy a car) always meet them in a crowded location.
5. When taking Uber or other taxi type services, don’t call Uber from your home address or get dropped off there.
Walk outside or next door—you can be close, (even next door) but not as close as your actual address.
Today so many people seem to let their entire lives play out on TV or on the Internet, too many people (especially women) get caught up in getting the attention from strangers. It has become a new norm. But think of your safety first, especially if you live alone and don’t get swept up in that mentality, it makes you as a single woman way too vulnerable.
Be smart, be safe and be diligent when protecting your privacy in every way. And if you have good suggestions on this topic, please share them. I’d love to hear from you!