This is my first Blogging Tips post since November since it is now a monthly post and not bi-weekly. I've been blogging for over a year now (just barely) and while I'm no expert in the field, I do think I've picked up quite a few things.
Today I wanted to talk about Blogging Safety, not because I've had issues, or am directly connected to anyone who has (to my knowledge) but because I was thinking about it lately. It's going to be a rather short post, because there's little to say on this, since I feel like a bit of it is common knowledge since safety on the internet isn't so different from safety in real life.
Don't be stupid
Okay, that sounds really harsh, but it's the only way I can think of summing up this point. Don't just dangle your address out there for the world to see. Sometimes I put my general location out there, like the fact that I live in Illinois, and I have actually talked about my college, but I don't get more specific than that. You could theoretically find me, but it would take a bit of work (considering I use a pen name of sorts... I've talked about that here, if you're interested) and I trust that the regular visitor probably doesn't want to. I'm not completely locked down on my location, but I don't like everyone to know. Of course, you could keep where you are even quieter than I do. It's a choice. In fact, before I turned eighteen, I never even put the country I was in online (outside of my personal Facebook), because I was rather paranoid. The bottom line: don't be stupid.
"But What About ARC's and Galleys and the like?"
Well, that's a different matter. You say you want ARCs? Well, it's good to have a review policy somewhere on the blog with a way to contact you, but DO NOT PUT YOUR ADDRESS THERE! Seriously, because you will get spam for sure, and maybe worse. This falls under the don't be stupid idea. If someone contacts you with a book they want you to read, if you've never heard of them, duo a quick google. See if they're legit, if other reviews have reviewed the book, if they have a website and a track record. Don't feel like you have to go total private eye or anything, but don't get scammed. If you're requesting through a traditional publisher, you're probably safer since they do have a track record.
"And how about giveaways I've won?"
Well, first of all, congrats. Winning is awesome! Okay, but do you give your address? Well, it's a little late now that you've won to ask yourself this since most of the time it says that you need to be able to give your address in an email in order to receive your prize. So, really, in this case, just think about it before you enter. I've never had any problems with anyone, and most of the time, I don't enter giveaways unless I know the blogger. If it's not a blog, but a different kind of website, go back to the idea of "Don't Be Stupid" and if it feels like a scam or like it's wrong, don't enter.
Moral of this story: Trust your gut and don't be stupid. Pretty simple.
I hope this doesn't come off too negative, since I'm really writing this post to be helpful. I really just want everyone to be safe on the internet and be careful with their information. (I will admit I'm writing this a bit late, so it's not as streamlined as I would like.)