Here’s a PDF Version of this Article
We all know that there are a whole lot of ways that you can get yourself in trouble online – and that danger only increases for streamers. Here are a few things to keep you safe online:
- Keep your operating system and virus/malware software up to date. Bad guys can do all sorts of horrible stuff that you will never know is happening until it’s too late if they can get malicious software on your computer.
- Turn Two-Factor Authentication on everything (Steam, Epic, Discord, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Two-Factor Authentication essentially means that every time you log into a site it sends a secret code to your phone or alternate e-mail address. This is a super-important way to protect yourself – especially if you use the same (or similar) passwords for different sites (which you shouldn’t do either!).
- How to keep yourself from getting “doxed” (located IRL) or “swatted” (as in having a police SWAT team raid your house for false reasons).
- Tell local law enforcement that you’re a streamer.
- If you want companies or followers send you stuff, consider getting a PO Box in a neighbouring town.
- Don’t share pictures of your home or location on stream.
- When sharing stories, be aware of how people could use the information to find you. Ex: “I live in (near) this town…”, “I’m near the world’s biggest paperclip…” (and talk to your guests / collabs about these measures too)
- Don’t post your trips and plans on social media. Share after you get back. You don’t want someone you don’t know tracking you down IRL.
- Keep your microphone off when you’re not streaming (like during breaks) just in case you accidentally share personal information without realizing.
- It can help to have a check-list of things to do before, during, pausing, and after stream to make sure you don’t forget.
- Upgrade your PayPal to a Business Account (a personal account can show your information). Use PayPal’s App Centre to create a secure Donation Button (PayPal.me is less secure.)
- Check your WHOIS information to see what your personal website is really sharing: https://whois.domaintools.com/
- Punch your name into https://www.spokeo.com/ and https://www.whitepages.com to see what kind of information is being shared about you online.
- Put your profile picture(s) into http://www.TinEye.com to see where else it is being used on the internet.
- Other Safety Tips:
- Don’t use your real name on stream – especially not in your username.
- Cover your webcam because some hackers can enable it without the light coming on and spy on you. (Contact me if you want me to 3D print you a fancy one, but you can use tape and cardboard too).
- Create a new email address for all your streaming contacts (it’s pretty easy to check multiple accounts from one location to make it easier).
- Don’t use your real birthday on social media accounts.
- Delete all your old VODS just in case you said something before you started to be aware of the dangers.
- Hate-Raid Protection
- Enable the safety and auto-moderation features in a “ChatBot” (CloudBot, NightBot, etc.) to protect you from common problems.
- Use the lists on these websites to populate your Twitch “AutoMod Blocked Terms and Phrases” and/or in the “Word Protection” on your ChatBot. Unfortunately, you will have to go through this list word-by-word because it’s pretty strict – and you may need to add words from other cultures. (Eg. British slang)
- If you get hit with a Hate-Raid, use these commands (or, make a macro to do them all at once with your StreamDeck)
- Enable Subs Only Chat: /subscribers
- Enable Emote Only Chat: /emoteonly (to prevent reactions)
- Take screenshots for reporting (your community can help)
- Turn off Alerts in your streaming software (OBS, etc.)
Happy (and Safe) Streaming,
*Includes information from: