This guide is for for anyone who is a cam performer to help ensure their online security. It is not meant to be exhaustive but tries to be comprehensive. From Banking to Webbrowers and Meta data to Wish lists. All will be here. Though it’s geared toward US-based cammers, many of the topics discussed apply to any cammer.
I hope for it to be a roadmap and starting point for everyone to use to ensure that they can find valid and effective information so that an informed decision about security issues can be determined based on on each person’s level of risk acceptance. Essentially, what does each person feel safe revealing about themselves (and not just revealing themselves physically). It’s expected that anyone reading this would also do their own research and reading the terms of service of the applications and services they decide to use. Just because everyone else uses a service or app doesn’t mean it’s privacy preserving (*cough* Facebook *cough*).
A digital persona is “you” represented on the web. However, this “you” can be anything that the real you wants it to be. It is the “person” that is to be seen (and tracked and data mined) when doing something on the web. You might like seafood, your persona might hate it. You can be a liberal, your persona a conservative. You might be from the east coast, your persona from the west. You can have multiple persona’s…maybe the real you, your performer persona, a work persona (if you have another job), and a persona you present to your family (maybe gammy doesn’t like computers and vibrators). I’d recommend, at a minimum, having at least two personas….your real self and your cam/performer persona. These two should never meet. Your real life persona shouldn’t follow your performer persona on social media. Keeping the personas separate is the first step in ensuring you can have a private life and a cam life. The idea with your persona (or personas if you wish to have more) is to have a minimal back story about them, their likes, where they’re from, age, various preferences, etc. It’s these details that are provided to viewers, not your true information. Variations on true things are easier to remember and keep it simple. When talking with viewers, giving up a little bit of persona information is fine, but when they probe, tell them you like your privacy….no more details. You also want your persona to live in the same general time zone as you. You don’t want to have your persona live in London and you’re in San Francisco. People will notice when you say good morning and the California sun is streaming through your windows midday while it’s night time in London…supposedly where your persona lives. One thing to be careful about is picking activities or hobbies you know nothing about. It’ll become obvious when someone asks a basic question and you have no clue what they are talking about. You’ll get called out on it. So that boring hobby your ex boyfriend used to drone on about….that might be a good option since you’ll know a bit about it. And yes, if this sounds like you’re becoming a spy. It’s similar.
Where you broadcast should reflect your persona too. You’ll want to be sure about what can be seen in your stream which represents your persona. If you say you’re in New York City and yet out your window is a corn field…people will notice. It’s the same with the decor. Having pictures of your family or your alma mater (which is different than the one your persona says you went to) will get you called out and reveal true personal details about you.
Two issues that are just not possible to get around….banking and age identification. You MUST use your real name and provide real information when dealing with the the bank (you do want to get paid, right?) and for proving that you are of age to perform. Do NOT use a persona for those.
When picking your performer/stage name, ensure that it is not able to be linked back to your real identity. For example, if your real name is Julie….don’t pick HotJules69 as your stage name (and associated login and email address). Or if you are from Maryland and your persona is from California, having TerpsGal420 as your persona nickname will give you away (the University of Maryland mascot is the Terps - nick name for a Terrapin, a type of turtle). Again, you want to ensure nothing can link your real life persona to your camping persona. You also do not want to re-use old account names, such as from your dead MySpace page.