Every occupation requires a balance between public and private. In some workplaces, telling your entire life’s story (including what — or who — you did last night) is perfectly fine. In others, a finer filter is required. The public/private balance becomes even more complicated when you’re dealing with the public directly. In cam, sometimes the balance is tricky.
Part of a model’s job is to connect with clients. Regardless the nature of the exchange — from purely sexual to just talking — a good model always makes the connection feel intimate and real. Maintaining your boundaries and protecting your privacy within this context can be challenging, especially as your interactions increase.
Model Christy Berrie, who has been on-cam for three years and specializes in fem-dom and humiliation, shared some of her best insights and tips, all intended to keep you working while also keeping you safe.
Set up a post office box or mailbox at a postal service store.
Don’t get cam mail where you live.
Berrie advises: “Have anything cam-related sent to [your mailbox] instead of your physical address — paychecks, tax info, etc. The website you’re working on should have great security, but you never know. Post office boxes are also great for Amazon wish list items. Amazon doesn’t show your full address to the buyer, but if something on your list is from a third-party seller, it’s possible for the buyer to get your address from them.”
Use a virtual private network.
A virtual private network (VPN) creates an encrypted connection over less secure networks, protecting your private information. VPNs also bypass censorship imposed by governments, landlords, or ISPs, giving you full, unrestricted access to the interwebs.
“Whether you’re in a chatroom style website like MyFreeCams or using Skype for one-on-one, it’s easy for someone to figure out your IP address,” Berrie cautioned.
Pay attention to your surroundings.
Though your cam room may be the perfect combination of inviting and unidentifiable, be aware what may be in view on-cam.
“If you’re camming near your kitchen, make sure there aren’t any magnets on your fridge with your real name or photos of your family, etc.,” Berrie said. “Camming near an open window can reveal a landmark, like a store or park you live across from and give someone an approximate location.”
Remove Exif data from photos.
A photo’s Exif (exchangeable image file) data tells everything about it, including, in photos taken with a GPS-enabled camera, the exact time and location an image was snapped. This is all done by default, often without the user’s knowledge.
According to Berrie, “Most apps like Twitter remove the Exif data when posted, but if you’re selling your phone number for texting and you send them a photo without removing Exif data, the customer can see the latitude and longitude coordinates of where the photo was taken.”
Be mindful about teaming with others.
In many ways, you’re only as good as the people and service providers around you. This includes everything from your network to your friends to other models with whom you may develop professional relationships.
“There are going to be so many webcam models that you think you’d love to meet up with and work with,” Berrie explains, “but get to know them and their work ethic before deciding to work with them.”
Berrie advises asking yourself the followings questions before teaming up:
Do they take the same safety and security precautions you do?
Will they block the regions you block if you decide to work together?
Do they get more (or less) personal with their fans than you’re comfortable with?
Do they have good rapport and relationships with other models with whom they’ve worked?
“It might seem like a fun and very lucrative experience, but don’t jump into anything off the bat — get to know them first,” Berrie advised.
You are the person best equipped to look out for you. Use these tips and, as always, remember to stay savvy. That’s the number one rule for cam safety and success.
Visit Christy Berrie on Twitter at @ChristyBerrie.