This wasn't in the original course outline, but I got feedback during beta testing from someone who said they were scared of being doxxed and swatted.
If you haven't heard, some angry nerds on the internet (often referred to as trolls) like to go around and find the addresses of popular streamers and then call in fake threats to the police, which result in a SWAT team showing up at the streamer's house while they're streaming.
Sounds shitty, right? It is.
It's also very difficult to not be found.
I can't promise you complete anonymity on the internet, but I do have a few quick tips that make it a lot harder for your address to be found.
1. Don't ever post your address or phone number anywhere.
This should be pretty obvious, but it's not.
If you need to share an address or phone number openly, we'll talk about how to safely do it next.
Don't even talk about where you live if you can get away with it.
Don't post pictures of the surrounding area.
2. Get a burner phone number.
There are lots of apps and services out there that offer phone numbers that you can hook up and cancel any time.
You can also get a pre-paid cell phone and use it for whatever you need.
These are great for double authentication.
3. Use Two-Factor Authentication for EVERYTHING.
If you're using a service like Google/YouTube, Blizzard/Battlenet, or anything else that offers two factor authentication for security, definitely do it.
If you use an app, make sure you keep your phone passworded.
If you use the phone number authentication, it's best to use a phone number that NO ONE knows.
I mean no one.
You don't even want to have the phone number connected to one of your accounts.
Get a prepaid phone from Walmart and use it, or if you have an iPhone you can get the MySudo app which is what I currently use.
4. Get a separate address.
Most people get a P.O. Box in their local area.
They range in prices based on size and location, but they're generally pretty affordable.
Safety is an investment so it's worth the money.
(Note that if you invest in the safety of Earth Class Mail, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
I use a service called Earth Class Mail
because I'm lazy and don't want to get a P.O. Box.
Just kidding, the real reason is because they scan the mail, email me a picture of it, and then I can tell them to open and send me a scan, toss it out, or ship it directly to me anywhere in the world.
I like this because I like to travel, and I don't want to have to keep changing P.O. Boxes every time I move.
I also use this address in all of the emails I send out (required by law) and can use it as my business address.
It's a bit pricey but the convenience makes it worth it for me.
For most people, a simple P.O. Box will work.
5. Strip exif data from your images before sharing.
Exif data usually contains info like what kind of camera you used, but it will also often have location data such as where you took the photograph.
A selfie in your bedroom could share all of your location info with the world.
Most social media websites do this automatically (Twitter and Instagram definitely do), but a lot of sites like Flickr and your own self-hosted website won't.
You can use phone apps and online services to safely rip out exif data for free.
There's lots more you can do and even then, you won't ever be entirely safe, but this will deter a lot of trolls from coming after you.
The harder you make it for them to find your info, the sooner they are likely to give up.