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2.3.4 How do I protect my identity on the Internet

In the age of the Internet, one should be aware of the dangers of an outing and not leave too many traces on the Internet. Online security is therefore an important issue.

Almost everyone who travels on social networks has already experienced that unknown people are suggested to him as friends. Whether it's professional networks like LinkedIn or Facebook, and Instagram; the social networks store connections and establish links. This also means that with different profiles for professional or private purposes it can be that in the private profile men are suggested to you as friends, whom you get to know as customers and whose phone numbers you have saved as erotic contacts.

Social networks are also increasingly used by escorts as advertising platforms, even if the rules e.g. prohibit the offering and advertising of sexual services on Facebook. It goes without saying that you choose different identities and choose a pseudonym for the escort account. But this is not enough. In the meantime, face recognition also works very well and can cause a random outing. One should also keep in mind the Google image search, which stores all images on the network.

Outing has serious consequences. Once the real name is associated with sexual activity, it can mean that future employers can find out about double life. People who rarely come into contact with the sex industry also have to be careful, as do people who are politically committed to the rights of sex workers. Bloggers who write about sexual topics should also protect their anonymity and work under a pseudonym.

Even if someone has outed himself publicly, it is advisable to act under a pseudonym and to assume different Internet identities. However, you have to be careful to tell them apart every time you post on the Internet. So there are a few things to consider:

- Limit the number of pictures that you publish on the net and present yourself

Due to Google's image search, it is very easy to connect different social media. Choose carefully which pictures you share yourself or on which you are tagged on Facebook. Does a face photo really have to be? Make sure that your identities on the net are carefully separated e.g. through different phone numbers and email addresses that are linked to your accounts.

- Don't show tattoos

It is advisable to leave out tatoos when taking photos, as they have a recognition value and can come out in the future. Not only image search engines store images online, but also some customers and end up in some archives. These pictures could identify you even after you quit sex work. You have to weigh up all future options as soon as you get started and make clear what risks you want to expose yourself to.

- Protect a private Facebook profile

Pay attention to which e.g. former schoolmates want to add you as friends and will have access to your personal information. You should go through your Facebook friends list every few months and delete friends you haven't been in contact with for more than a year.

- Be active when it comes to protecting your private life

Use different email addresses and phone numbers for different online profiles and purposes. This can reduce the risk of people being suggested to you as friends who you have met as erotic contacts.

- Make a plan

In the case of all cases, you should make a plan in advance. For example, it may be that an ex has access to your online activities and is now trying to get you out of revenge. So you should be very economical with who you inform about your various activities, not just online.

- Text and picture theft on the net

If you are copying pictures and texts, you can do something about it. You should simply defend yourself against picture theft, after all, it affects your right to your own photo. This article describes very well how you can proceed with text and picture theft on the net.

It is possible to have links removed from the search engines. e.g. at Google. There is a form that you have to fill out. This is particularly advisable if you no longer want to work in sex work and want to ensure that all links that lead to pictures and profiles of you are removed. The legislator also speaks of the “right to be forgotten”.

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