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7 Tips On Keeping Your Blog Secret From Your Employer


If you blog, you've probably proudly put it on your CV. But if you don't want your boss to find your blog (because it's a personal blog or you're a company mole or you're blogging about stuff that you could get discriminated for) then you've got two choices.

Be pseudonymous. This means that your friends and family know you're blogging but you're keeping your legal name hidden from the internet. This is safer than letting everyone online know your identity and might give you more freedom and confidence.


Be anonymous. This is when you seriously do not want anyone, ever, to link you to your secret blog.

Obviously there's grey areas and overlaps between the two. Some pseudonymous people take their pseudonymity very seriously, while others (like me) are blase about it and don't worry if it's easy for others to find out who we are. For some people, their pseudonymity is more of a pen name and their real identity is an open secret.

If you're going anonymous (or seriously pseudonymous), here's how to do it: 

1. Use Tor. 

Tor is a browser based on the Firefox browser. It uses onion routing to allow you to browse anonymously and works by switching to a different IP address every 10 minutes so trackers can't figure out your IP address. Anyone trying to find you would potentially get the country wrong! You can also download Tor to flash drives and your android phone for anonymity on the go. Tor lets you change your IP address at any time. This means that if you're blogging about, say, being transgender and now you want to sign in to your work server, all you have to do is change your IP address and nobody will know that you're the blogger. Simple! When using Tor, it's best to type and send emails within ten minutes to avoid emails not being sent.

2. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

VPNs are supposed to be the safest way to stay anonymous online, so this is a must-have if you’re really serious about your anonymity. They protect your IP address and protect you from trackers. Hotspot Shield is a well-known free VPN that you can download. It saves you the bother of creating your own VPN or paying to use a VPN service or proxy server. There are many other free VPNs out there.

3. Research how to stay anonymous online

The EFF has this guide on how to register domains anonymously. Global Voices Advocacy discusses how to blog with Tor and Wordpress here. Former anonymous blogger Belle de Jour has more tips here. And  this article focuses on Google analytics and threats to your anonymity.

4. Don't use the same photos for your anonymous and non-anonymous identities if you're really serious about staying anonymous. It's apparently really easy for anyone to do a Google reverse lookup for photos. Photos can also reveal the date they were taken.

5. Don't register for a domain under your legal name or an ewhois reverse lookup will reveal your identity. Sticking to blog hosting platforms like Wordpress or Blogspot is safer than having your own domain, because ewhois can't look them up. Some platforms like Fearless Blogging are built for anonymity.

6. Don't write in the same style or use the same turns of phrase for your anon and non-anon identities. If you've got a social media account for your blog, try not to friend/follow/add the same people on both accounts. The less personal details you reveal from your anoymous account, the better.

7. Don't forget the obvious stuff

This might sound obvious, but don't choose an anonymous identity which is close to your legal name. And don't talk to your friends about your anonymous identity in comments or on public forums. (Seriously, I've seen people who were really serious about staying anonymous do this). Google indexes comments, tweets, Facebook posts, wishlists, online purchases and public forum messages. Sites like whitepages and Pipl will bring all of this up in a search for your name or your anonymous identity. There's often a percieved mystery around doxing (finding an anonymous person's real identity) but all a 'dox' is, is a Google search and maybe a visit to a directory like Whitepages.

With the internet there are never any guarantees, especially if you tend to use the same usernames everywhere or if you trust the wrong people. Accidentally posting things to the wrong account or being specific about your personal life on both identities is also risky. Bottom line is, you're the person who can do the most to protect your anonymity and you're the person who's most likely to inadvertently out yourself. But though nothing you can do will guarantee you remain anonymous, taking a few precautions will mean that you'll be blogging about how much you hate your boss or how unethical your company is without the worry of being discovered.

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