30 second summary:
- The need to become a public figure to be a successful entrepreneur is overrated
- Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to create an anonymous digital entity using most of the efficient marketing strategies
- The problem arises when you’ve already posted your personal data and want to delete it – it’s neither easy nor possible (given all the variety of archiving tools that are publicly accessible these days)
- So how do you keep your life private while owning a successful online business?
- How do you tackle this conundrum since your private content could still go public at any time?
The internet is both a boon and a bane, depending on how you use it and how others use it to interact with you. Since the pandemic, many new activities and secondary activities have emerged, while physical activities have begun to digitize themselves. This has raised wellness challenges as to how business owners and senior executives can separate work from their personal pockets on the Internet. How can they ensure their online privacy and security are strong while creating a corporate digital footprint?
Here are some things you should know about safeguarding your online identity from the internet:
1. Make your site anonymous
Digitizing your business while remaining anonymous is difficult but doable. Here are all the steps you need to take create an anonymous blog. Basically:
- You need to find an online alias (a nickname as we called it in the days when we used forums and never used our real names on the web)
- Set up a new email address and create your new public social media profiles that represent your business
- Additionally, you will need to pay for domain privacy protection to prevent your phone, email and address from being linked to your domain. Domain privacy protection replaces personal information with proxy information in the public WHOIS directory.
- Make sure you are using an SSL certificate (which you can do it for free)
I know what we talked about transparency And authenticity and building your own personal brand too much, so creating a successful anonymous site without exposing yourself almost seems like an unpopular choice.
Well, I believe there is still a place for anonymity in social media and you can still be successful without the cost of compromising your personal data to the public. You just need to be careful while using all kinds of marketing tactics – like blogging and social media marketing – to keep your life – well – private.
Of course, that means not posting family photos on Instagram and not telling personal stories, but there is still a wide range of opportunities, from SEO to PPC ads. With more personal tactics, such as blogging outreach, you’ll likely need to come up with a alternative identity as nobody likes anonymous emails or emails from a business.
There is one thing to note here: for both ecommerce and SaaS businesses it is possible to create an anonymous business entity. Of course, some of your customers may be curious about who is behind your brand, but if you have working contact information, that’s not a big deal. It is, of course, more challenging for a freelance business, like most of the freelance markets ask for your real name to participate.
Some may argue about the possibility of anonymity in the context of TO EAT but it’s actually not known how exactly Google translates its EAT requirements into a ranking algorithm. So far, I’ve seen many websites without humanized “About” pages that rank and rank high. Plus, you can tell the story of your business without telling the personal story of its founder.
The need to become a public figure to be a successful entrepreneur is overrated. It is still a matter of choice. Technical SEO And high quality backlinksas well as the quality of the contents and correctly performed keyword research – the three pillars of solid organic visibility remain. A well-made “About” page can exist without personal branding, as long as it conveys your business proposition, origin story, and conveys values that will resonate with target consumers / audiences.
2. Delete your public content from third party platforms
Chances are you have contributed to several third party platforms using your real name. It’s only natural because there are some powerful social media readers (like Facebook and Quora) who have real name policies in place that prevent users from remaining anonymous.
If at some point you decide you don’t want that content to appear in search when someone is searching for your name, what are your choices?
The hard truth is that removing your content that you’ve added to a third-party site is a challenge. Some platforms don’t even have tools for mass deletion of content from the platform. In case of Quora, you will probably need to delete your account to get rid of your content.
In some cases, like Reddit and Tumblr, even deleting your account won’t help as your content will remain there assigned to a removed entity.
In case you’re curious, here’s an overview of the major third-party content-based networks and how you can delete your content in an easier way:
|Platform based on third party content||A way to mass delete the content?||Will the content disappear once the entire account is deleted?|
(except for questions which are mostly anonymous)
(You can also make your own private profile)
(However, you can make them all private / protected)
|No (but you can make them all private / hidden)||Yes|
(but DO NOT hang up other people from your pins)
(Using the mass message editor)
(Your group blog contributions will be withheld)
(But Not immediately)
(You can bulk delete your comments and bulk hide your videos)
In summary, deleting your content from the web will take some work, and in some cases, it won’t happen instantly. But it’s better than saving hours in the future by trying to block and delete spam communications aimed at you and your business.
You can of course change your username on most of these networks to hide your real name, but please note that your former name will still be visible through the Wayback Machine and similar archiving tools, in case someone takes the time to search. .
3. Make your remaining accounts private
If you think going off the grid is an extreme sport and want to maintain some sort of social media presence to stay in touch with friends and family, simply make your accounts private. But remember that your name and profile picture may still be public and findable through Google, even when a profile is set to private.
Here’s an example of a private account on Instagram that still makes your name, username, description, profile picture, and website public, even to a viewer who isn’t logged in:
Typically, when a social media account is set to private, neither logged in nor unregistered people cannot access your content or friends list.
The culture of spontaneous sharing is getting too strong: people post and share private information without too much consideration or without any harm.
And let’s not forget an always possible data breach risk that can bring your personal information into the possession of hackers. From past incidents, it is quite clear that a social media platform is unlikely to notify their users of the breach (they may do so but months after it occurred, months after your private data may have fallen into the wrong hands).
That said, deleting your accounts is probably a better option, not perfect yet.
The truth is, once we start opening our lives to the digital world, private content gets its own wings. It becomes very difficult to keep under control and can spread easily without you noticing.
If that worries you, take at least a few steps now: When starting a new business or digitizing your current one, keep your anonymity options in mind and make an informed decision about what you want your customers to know about your private life.
Ann Smarty is the founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager of Internet Marketing Ninjas. It can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.
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