Community YouTube, YOUR Safety and YOUR Privacy

Nick Nimmin

Member
TubeBuddy Legend
38
71
12
tubertools.com
#1
I made a video about this a while ago but I ran across something about this yesterday so I wanted to share it here...for your safety.

On YouTube, as your channel gets more popular, people will cross boundaries you're not comfortable with. This may include something simple like being weird your comments or it could be something extreme like showing up at your house or worse. Because of this, it's important you take precautions to minimize or avoid these things happening to you.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

1. Set up an email hierarchy.

I recommend you have one public facing email that you use as the primary filter. This is the email you'll use for your business inquiry mails for your channel and the mail you'll put in descriptions if you want to make it even easier for opportunities to find you.

From there, have a second email that you move your potential opportunities to. When you're looking through email #1, CC email #2 in any replies with potential opportunities or people you want to talk to. In the mail tell them that your public facing mail gets a lot of traffic so you would like to move contact to that second email.

Then, have a third email that is strictly for industry friends and people who you've closed deals with. Make that your VIP or priority email so EVERY mail that comes into that box is something you want to see.

2. When setting up emails, skype accounts, etc. don't use your name or channel name.

It's too easy to find. I have people contacting me on my personal email all of the time because it's easy to figure out. I have received very...uncomfortable...Skype calls at random hours. It's creepy and some people won't consider your personal boundaries and may freak out when you tell them it's a personal account.

3. Keep your address private!

I can't stress this enough for obvious reasons, use a PO Box or business address.

Take this a step further by removing any mailing labels when unboxing anything on video and if you vlog, NEVER record yourself walking or driving out of your place or record the path to your home.

4. Hide your website information.

What? What does that mean? It means if you have a website address (URL) and you didn't opt-in for whois protection, people can get your phone number, address, email, etc. Some places offer to protect your privacy free, other places require a small yearly fee to do it. To see if people can see your info, you can check here https://directnic.com/whois . If they can, get whois protection immediately.

5. Be cautious of scams

If someone is contacting you to send you free products or even a bank wire, if they don't have a business email (companyname.com) don't do it. Free products will show them where you live (unless PO Box) and with a wire you have to give up a name (no prob if company) and bank info.

If someone wants you to make a purchase on Amazon and then they will pay you back once you do a review, don't do it.

6. Lock down your Facebook account

Make everything important only accessible to friends. Through your FB friends people (that guy you banned because he said something horrible but is freaking out because you banned him) can track down your family and friends and harass them. As a bonus, it's likely that the personal info that you're trying to protect is exposed through your Facebook connections.

7. Work on a delay if you're a daily vlogger

If you want to add a layer of protection and you're a vlogger, batch produce some content to get yourself a week ahead so the creepies are always a week behind you. Unfortunately, as Youtubers we all want to meet fans when we go places but you only want to do that when YOU want to do that, it's not for someone else to decide.

Hopefully that will shine some light on a topic that isn't discussed much and help you protect yourself.

If you have any additional suggestions I would love to know them so I can also share them with other Youtubers when I remake this video.
 

Tito Tim

Active Member
TubeBuddy User
#3
Unfortunately the address won't work where I live... I had a guy show up at my house. He was in the village and showed a sikad driver (bicycle with side car) my picture. The driver did not know my name but gave very good directions ha ha.

I use my channel name on my business email, but my personal email is completely different. Not only a different name it is a different provider (my own domain). When I travel I do lie about the dates. Only my wife knew the actual day I was coming back from the US visit. I try not to be paranoid, but nothing wrong with trying to stay safe.
 

kunicross

Well-Known Member
TubeBuddy Pro
634
503
23
#4
Great points, I think most important is to be aware what you are sharing I usually keep my real name, phone number and adress to myself.

(In Germany you are kinda legally required to put your full adress on your channel description, one of the reasons I'm not steaming to hot on my German channel despir it getting quite some views)
 

kunicross

Well-Known Member
TubeBuddy Pro
634
503
23
#5
Unfortunately the address won't work where I live... I had a guy show up at my house. He was in the village and showed a sikad driver (bicycle with side car) my picture. The driver did not know my name but gave very good directions ha ha.

I use my channel name on my business email, but my personal email is completely different. Not only a different name it is a different provider (my own domain). When I travel I do lie about the dates. Only my wife knew the actual day I was coming back from the US visit. I try not to be paranoid, but nothing wrong with trying to stay safe.
Kinda strange you feel safer in the Philippines compared to the US - but I maybe get it - I feel absolutely save in Brasil when police is around while the common brazilian population is mostly afraid of the police.
 

Beanie Draws

Moderator
Moderator
120
118
17
#7
The whois tip is so underrated, and unless you know about it, most won't think about protecting that one.

I'd also add, don't show visual hints at where you live. Go through your instagram or twitter history and Don't show your backyard and surrounding neighbors (can be searched in google maps satellite view) don't show the new car you just got (would suck if someone recognised your car and followed it home) and there's few things worse than showing a photo out your window of an awesome sunset, or a rainy day only for a random to recognize a house that's outside your window so they know where you live.

It may be extreme, but the more popular you get, I'd suggest living in an apartment building. It adds an extra layer of protection. The more recognizable you get, the more I'd be weary of who's around you as you approach home. Again, if someone knows the kind of car you drive, or just knows what you look like, and they see you approaching home, that's a bad thing.

And stream via VPN.

I now pretty much have a policy where I don't get involved in any social media that requires a real name, so Facebook is a big no no now. Luckily I was pretty strict about years ago and now I just don't use it at all, or very VERY rarely. (Always sucks when commenting on someone, and then 5 minutes later you're getting a friend request, especially if that's the only interaction you've ever had)
 
OP
OP
Nick Nimmin

Nick Nimmin

Member
TubeBuddy Legend
38
71
12
tubertools.com
#8
Ive
The whois tip is so underrated, and unless you know about it, most won't think about protecting that one.

I'd also add, don't show visual hints at where you live. Go through your instagram or twitter history and Don't show your backyard and surrounding neighbors (can be searched in google maps satellite view) don't show the new car you just got (would suck if someone recognised your car and followed it home) and there's few things worse than showing a photo out your window of an awesome sunset, or a rainy day only for a random to recognize a house that's outside your window so they know where you live.

It may be extreme, but the more popular you get, I'd suggest living in an apartment building. It adds an extra layer of protection. The more recognizable you get, the more I'd be weary of who's around you as you approach home. Again, if someone knows the kind of car you drive, or just knows what you look like, and they see you approaching home, that's a bad thing.

And stream via VPN.

I now pretty much have a policy where I don't get involved in any social media that requires a real name, so Facebook is a big no no now. Luckily I was pretty strict about years ago and now I just don't use it at all, or very VERY rarely. (Always sucks when commenting on someone, and then 5 minutes later you're getting a friend request, especially if that's the only interaction you've ever had)
Ive posted some obvious shots that I shouldnt have on Facebook but my building has security guards on patrol etc. and Im in a country that isnt even 1% of my audience so someone would have to really want a selfie or to harm me to make it with the trip...lol.
 

Andrew

Superman
Administrator
4,201
2,786
31
youtube.com
#10
I made a video about this a while ago but I ran across something about this yesterday so I wanted to share it here...for your safety.

On YouTube, as your channel gets more popular, people will cross boundaries you're not comfortable with. This may include something simple like being weird your comments or it could be something extreme like showing up at your house or worse. Because of this, it's important you take precautions to minimize or avoid these things happening to you.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

1. Set up an email hierarchy.

I recommend you have one public facing email that you use as the primary filter. This is the email you'll use for your business inquiry mails for your channel and the mail you'll put in descriptions if you want to make it even easier for opportunities to find you.

From there, have a second email that you move your potential opportunities to. When you're looking through email #1, CC email #2 in any replies with potential opportunities or people you want to talk to. In the mail tell them that your public facing mail gets a lot of traffic so you would like to move contact to that second email.

Then, have a third email that is strictly for industry friends and people who you've closed deals with. Make that your VIP or priority email so EVERY mail that comes into that box is something you want to see.

2. When setting up emails, skype accounts, etc. don't use your name or channel name.

It's too easy to find. I have people contacting me on my personal email all of the time because it's easy to figure out. I have received very...uncomfortable...Skype calls at random hours. It's creepy and some people won't consider your personal boundaries and may freak out when you tell them it's a personal account.

3. Keep your address private!

I can't stress this enough for obvious reasons, use a PO Box or business address.

Take this a step further by removing any mailing labels when unboxing anything on video and if you vlog, NEVER record yourself walking or driving out of your place or record the path to your home.

4. Hide your website information.

What? What does that mean? It means if you have a website address (URL) and you didn't opt-in for whois protection, people can get your phone number, address, email, etc. Some places offer to protect your privacy free, other places require a small yearly fee to do it. To see if people can see your info, you can check here https://directnic.com/whois . If they can, get whois protection immediately.

5. Be cautious of scams

If someone is contacting you to send you free products or even a bank wire, if they don't have a business email (companyname.com) don't do it. Free products will show them where you live (unless PO Box) and with a wire you have to give up a name (no prob if company) and bank info.

If someone wants you to make a purchase on Amazon and then they will pay you back once you do a review, don't do it.

6. Lock down your Facebook account

Make everything important only accessible to friends. Through your FB friends people (that guy you banned because he said something horrible but is freaking out because you banned him) can track down your family and friends and harass them. As a bonus, it's likely that the personal info that you're trying to protect is exposed through your Facebook connections.

7. Work on a delay if you're a daily vlogger

If you want to add a layer of protection and you're a vlogger, batch produce some content to get yourself a week ahead so the creepies are always a week behind you. Unfortunately, as Youtubers we all want to meet fans when we go places but you only want to do that when YOU want to do that, it's not for someone else to decide.

Hopefully that will shine some light on a topic that isn't discussed much and help you protect yourself.

If you have any additional suggestions I would love to know them so I can also share them with other Youtubers when I remake this video.

Great advice nick! That's why I always release my vlogs past the event, you never know who is watching...
 
Likes: Paul

Ikerot

Not a mod
Moderator
1,143
1,013
31
Ikerot.com
#11
Some great advice, Nick! :]

I remember some stupid things I've done back in 2015/2016 that could've compromised my position if I ever get noticed >.> Good thing I've gotten rid of those already.

Good thing I've already deleted my facebook! Haha xD
 

Aaron

Moderator
Moderator
#12
I made a video about this a while ago but I ran across something about this yesterday so I wanted to share it here...for your safety.

On YouTube, as your channel gets more popular, people will cross boundaries you're not comfortable with. This may include something simple like being weird your comments or it could be something extreme like showing up at your house or worse. Because of this, it's important you take precautions to minimize or avoid these things happening to you.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

1. Set up an email hierarchy.

I recommend you have one public facing email that you use as the primary filter. This is the email you'll use for your business inquiry mails for your channel and the mail you'll put in descriptions if you want to make it even easier for opportunities to find you.

From there, have a second email that you move your potential opportunities to. When you're looking through email #1, CC email #2 in any replies with potential opportunities or people you want to talk to. In the mail tell them that your public facing mail gets a lot of traffic so you would like to move contact to that second email.

Then, have a third email that is strictly for industry friends and people who you've closed deals with. Make that your VIP or priority email so EVERY mail that comes into that box is something you want to see.

2. When setting up emails, skype accounts, etc. don't use your name or channel name.

It's too easy to find. I have people contacting me on my personal email all of the time because it's easy to figure out. I have received very...uncomfortable...Skype calls at random hours. It's creepy and some people won't consider your personal boundaries and may freak out when you tell them it's a personal account.

3. Keep your address private!

I can't stress this enough for obvious reasons, use a PO Box or business address.

Take this a step further by removing any mailing labels when unboxing anything on video and if you vlog, NEVER record yourself walking or driving out of your place or record the path to your home.

4. Hide your website information.

What? What does that mean? It means if you have a website address (URL) and you didn't opt-in for whois protection, people can get your phone number, address, email, etc. Some places offer to protect your privacy free, other places require a small yearly fee to do it. To see if people can see your info, you can check here https://directnic.com/whois . If they can, get whois protection immediately.

5. Be cautious of scams

If someone is contacting you to send you free products or even a bank wire, if they don't have a business email (companyname.com) don't do it. Free products will show them where you live (unless PO Box) and with a wire you have to give up a name (no prob if company) and bank info.

If someone wants you to make a purchase on Amazon and then they will pay you back once you do a review, don't do it.

6. Lock down your Facebook account

Make everything important only accessible to friends. Through your FB friends people (that guy you banned because he said something horrible but is freaking out because you banned him) can track down your family and friends and harass them. As a bonus, it's likely that the personal info that you're trying to protect is exposed through your Facebook connections.

7. Work on a delay if you're a daily vlogger

If you want to add a layer of protection and you're a vlogger, batch produce some content to get yourself a week ahead so the creepies are always a week behind you. Unfortunately, as Youtubers we all want to meet fans when we go places but you only want to do that when YOU want to do that, it's not for someone else to decide.

Hopefully that will shine some light on a topic that isn't discussed much and help you protect yourself.

If you have any additional suggestions I would love to know them so I can also share them with other Youtubers when I remake this video.
I've been the victim of endless harassment on my Business and Personal FB pages as well as Skype... At this point I just usually block and delete instead of even thinking about it... but these are tips I wish I'd followed years ago.

Also small note Namecheap is a domain provider that provides free WhoIs Guard... Very valuable service right there.
 

Beanie Draws

Moderator
Moderator
120
118
17
#14
I got a 'review your whois data' email recently. I went and looked and every entry was exactly the same "redacted for privacy". Not sure who redacted it, but I had all fake info in it anyway ha ha
was the email from a verified email business address that you're aware of? That email in it'self could have been a phishing email, especially if you had no idea who redacted it.
 

Beanie Draws

Moderator
Moderator
120
118
17
#16
Good to know! Thanks @Aaron!!:cool:
I was just thinking, especially with you, you feature your work car a bit in videos and other social media. Do you take it home as well. Not sure how much danger you potentially put yourself in considering your car IS your business advertisement, but I guess you park your car in a garage. I was considering doing a big artwork over my car for the views, because I know a title like "I Drew All Over My Car" would get views, BUT it would also be instantly recognizable in public. And if I had my branding on it as well as contact details, while good for getting business, would also be good for getting potential trolls.

It depends on how businesses and services who promote through social media and youtube tackle privacy and their own personal safety. Maybe not as big of an issue as someone building a name for themselves as an entertainer or personality where their name is also a brand that gets fans. Also, unless you get a grumpy customer, you're less likely to be subjected to crazy fans or angry fans upset that you didn't review them, or wanting one on one time with you unlike other niches.
 

Tito Tim

Active Member
TubeBuddy User
#17
was the email from a verified email business address that you're aware of? That email in it'self could have been a phishing email, especially if you had no idea who redacted it.
It was the annual letter I get from my domain host. I had changed all the info to fake info quite a few years ago, but this is the first time I saw 'redacted for privacy'. I like it :)
 

kunicross

Well-Known Member
TubeBuddy Pro
634
503
23
#19
The whois tip is so underrated, and unless you know about it, most won't think about protecting that one.

I'd also add, don't show visual hints at where you live. Go through your instagram or twitter history and Don't show your backyard and surrounding neighbors (can be searched in google maps satellite view) don't show the new car you just got (would suck if someone recognised your car and followed it home) and there's few things worse than showing a photo out your window of an awesome sunset, or a rainy day only for a random to recognize a house that's outside your window so they know where you live.

It may be extreme, but the more popular you get, I'd suggest living in an apartment building. It adds an extra layer of protection. The more recognizable you get, the more I'd be weary of who's around you as you approach home. Again, if someone knows the kind of car you drive, or just knows what you look like, and they see you approaching home, that's a bad thing.

And stream via VPN.

I now pretty much have a policy where I don't get involved in any social media that requires a real name, so Facebook is a big no no now. Luckily I was pretty strict about years ago and now I just don't use it at all, or very VERY rarely. (Always sucks when commenting on someone, and then 5 minutes later you're getting a friend request, especially if that's the only interaction you've ever had)
You can setup a business / artist account for your channel on Facebook so real name is not really a necessity there any more. (I'm not really a FB fan but they are just too big to ignore them) in beginning it was somewhat limited but now you can basically do anything with that account (just saw today that you can now act totally with that account)

Also in know pretty many people with fake names on FB so obviously they don't really enforce that (maybe setting up a account for some smaller country does help there)

For me one of the main security measures from the start was targeting for audience far away from home. But my village (more of a town but village sounds better) has a official village youtuber - he mostly covers soccer games in the area and is very active on regional Facebook so everyone kinda knows him (probably I recognize him more because he's another creator but the major made him the official doumentator of the last City Festival... (267 subs on his channel)

Another aspect, if you'd manage to get really famous on YT it's probably no longer really possible to stay private.


P.S.

I also would be cautious about workplace information like sharing pictures of your uniform, access card etc. I prefer not talking about my work and my superiors not knowing or watching my channel.
 
Last edited:

Stanley Orchard

Newbie Member
TubeBuddy User
16
14
5
#20
This is incredibly relevant information. I am a member of a good community of outdoors enthusiast channels on YT. In the last two months two of these channels have been swatted (people called the police to their houses durinh livestreams). Neither channel had over 2,000 subscribers. These problems are real and are closer to you than you may think.
 
Likes: Andrew