When PleinAir was first published, from 2004-2006, each profile article contained vital statistics about the featured artist. We’ve since learned that providing that kind of information can make it easier to hack the artists’ websites and e-mail accounts. Find out what we learned about protecting your identity in the magazine, and how that advice can help you with your website, blog, or Facebook page!
In an effort to be helpful to subscribers, the original issues of PleinAir magazine provided information about where the featured artists were born, the dates of their births, their current locations, and the addresses of their websites. Seven years later, when the magazine came back into print, Internet thieves had become much more sophisticated about hacking people’s websites, e-mail services, credit cards, and bank accounts. We were advised by an expert that the only information we should now include in our stories is the artists’ ages, the cities where they currently maintain a studio, and the URLs for their websites.
“Information is power for good or for evil,” the expert reminded us. “The more specific details you provide about artists’ unique identity, the more likely it is that a thief will be able to steal their identities and gain control of their Internet-based accounts.” While this helpful warning dealt specifically with the “Artist Data” sidebar in PleinAir magazine profiles, it also applies to artists’ website, blogs, and social media accounts. The expert cautioned artists about allowing their galleries to provide vital information and about including that unique information on their websites, in their blog posts, and on their Facebook pages.