Do you feel comfortable showing your face on your website or social media? I really wasn't until a few years ago, after my ID was stolen.
Over 15+ years ago or so, people were a little more skeptical about revealing real ID at the time. I was working as a web designer and had my real photos displayed - those were just "this site has been created by" photos, I had no problem with that.
I started to receive various messages here and there, some of which were spammy and abusive. I never expressed my personal opinions on those sites because I was merely running websites on other people's behalf. Unfortunately, some viewers had to have a problem with my profile.
I'm not white, so I received some racist comments. I'm gay, so I received homophobic comments. I'm vegetarian, so they assumed I was obnoxious (!)
Of course they made me feel a little uneasy, but I didn't take them seriously. I was used to racist and homophobic remarks. Much worse in the older days. There are millions of crazy timewasters all around the world. I'm not a naïve teenager, I'm just doing my job and proud of it. There's no way occasional immoral messages to crush me.
Then someone accessed my bank account. Cut the story short, luckily no money was stolen, but someone managed to obtain all my personal details, plus my passport and drivers license numbers.
I freaked out. I changed my name. Seriously, I decided no longer to use my birth name because of it. At the time I was managing 3 websites. I took my name off and all my photos. From that moment on, I became extremely protective of my privacy.
I'm actually an accountant by day - most of my friends know I'm involved with internet marketing business, but I don't necessarily tell my colleagues. Since that incident, I've been using my "new" real name by day as an accountant, and another name as an internet marketer and advertiser by night. Sounds like I have a double-life but it was never my intention if it wasn't for the ID theft incident.
Towards the end of 2015, by the time I gave a revamp to this site and a few other websites of mine, I gradually became more comfortable again about showing my identity for two reasons. Banks were more aware of identity frauds by then, at least here in the UK. And the number of websites continually increased, viewers would naturally choose to trust sites created by a real person with a face photo than a mystery avatar.
You may be reading this thinking, what's the big deal? Millions of Facebook and Instagram users upload their real photos every minute of the day. But time changes. There were times that the real social profiles tended to receive abusive treatments.
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