Commentary: Goddess Nikki Kit On Staying Safe in Online Sex Work

Goddess Nikki Kit is the founder of DIYFemDom.com. Find more of her work on AVN Stars at @goddessnikkikit.    By staying safe online, I mean keeping your “real life” as private as possible. If you are not careful, people can find out your real name, your home address, and proceed to cause harm in some way with this information. They can even attempt to extort you with this information, threatening to tell your friends and family what you do, or also send them your online profiles. I have had clients come across this valuable information, and I know exactly how it feels. I have never had anything extreme come of it, but I am warning you now based on my mistakes. Safety first, money, and everything else comes after.  If you plan on also partaking in “real-time sessions” with your clients, I strongly advise purchasing Lola Davina’s book “Thriving in Sex Work.” She goes into detail about staying safe when it comes to in-person encounters. Keep This Information a Secret! While I can advise on how to keep your personal life and work-life as separate as possible, you have to embrace now that your family and friends will probably find out what you do. If you can’t handle your closest family and friends seeing something that you post on the internet, don’t post it. I haven’t posted anything that I wouldn’t be willing to discuss with my grandmother. I also advise telling your family and friends what you do yourself before they find out on their own. Trust me on this one. However, if you could never bear the thought of people from your life finding out what you are doing, you can do audio-only content and use another model’s photos (with her written permission!). You can also wear a mask or do all content without your face in it. Only you can make this decision, as it is an extremely personal one. An integral part of BDSM is “risk assessment,” and that starts before you log online to practice BDSM or any sort of online adult-themed work. You need to look at all of the potential risks of posting content online. Then come up with a plan for how to handle each scenario. I will do my best to help you do that and teach you how to minimize these risks and learn from my mistakes. I want you to make a lot of money and find all the success in online adult work that you desire, but I also want you to be safe. You need to guard this information like your life depends on it, because it very well could.•Your legal name•Your address/city/state of residence•Your exact birthday•Where you go to school•Where else you work (if you have a “civilian” job) You should also safeguard the same information for your partner, other family members, and friends. I love my job, but it’s no secret that there are dangerous people in this world. Many of them target sex workers for a multitude of reasons. No amount of money is worth your safety, please stay vigilant in safeguarding your privacy. Metadata – The Sneaky Silent Doxxer Dirty metadata is one of the most common ways that a tech-savvy client can get ahold of your most personal information. When you save ANY file to your phone or your computer, your computer saves a lot of little details along with the photo/file besides what you decided to title your file. As technology progresses, it uses this metadata to group like files, such as photos taken from different locations while traveling. But when someone purchases a photo from you, you don’t want them to have the GPS coordinates of where you took the picture, which was most likely in your home. All they have to do is right-click on the file, select “get info” and read through the information. If you have your real name as your username on your laptop or phone, your real name will also be in this information. Imagine how scary it is to sell 25 copies of a video to realize that each copy contains your real name and address. That means that 25 people have all the information that they need to show up on my doorstep. They could also distribute this personal information to others online. Thankfully I have not had anything horrific come from the incident, but I never made that mistake again. I hope that you never do. How do you avoid this? I am a Mac user and always have been, so I don’t know the exact process for a Windows computer, but I assume it is similar. On your phone, go through your location services and make sure that it is in the off position for any application that you may use for work. You need to check your social media apps, your camera, your photo editors, and any other app you may use to either edit content, record content or communicate with clients or other SWs. You must take your time and be diligent in this process and repeat it whenever you upgrade your technology. Change your name in your phone to your work name, or get a separate phone for work. I also advise doing the same for your computer. Your technology is trying to make things easier for you, but to stay safe, we have to disable a lot of convenience features. I’m not a technology wizard by any means, but thankfully there is a lot of useful information online. Please don’t upload any content anywhere online unless you are confident that there is no compromising information within the metadata. Social media Social media can be a big part of working online though the number of social media sites that we are allowed on is dwindling as I write this article. Social media focuses on bringing people together with like interests, and it is getting harder to keep your private information off of social media. Be extremely cautious when using social media for work, as this is even easier for your friends and family to come across. By this, I mean that your mom or aunt may spend more time on Instagram than they do on MyFreeCams. Facebook and Instagram are dangerous as far as I am concerned. They are both owned by the same company, and they don’t want sex workers on their platform anyway. The issue also lies in the fact that if you have a personal Facebook or Instagram as well as a work one, your work account will pop up in recommended follows of your real-life friend’s account. I have tried many ways to avoid this, and have been somewhat successful, but it only takes one slip up one time to have your sex work profile make its way through to your family. It’s too risky and not worth it since they delete our accounts as soon as they discover them. If you do choose to create social media accounts for work on these platforms, do so knowing your family will probably find them eventually if not immediately. If you have a “civilian” job, your co-workers and boss are far more likely to find your Instagram account than your Pornhub profile. Whenever I try to make a Facebook account for Nikki Kit, my stepfather and grandpa pop up as recommended friends the second I make the account, and I haven’t had a personal Facebook in years. Twitter is far more sex worker-friendly, but again they are moving away from being as pleasant towards us as they once were.  I deleted all of my personal social media accounts when I decided to get serious about online sex work to keep my friends and family at a safe distance from my work life and potential threats. There is so much personal information available on Facebook; they would find not only yours but also your entire family’s personal information. If you do decide that you are comfortable trying to separate and maintain personal social media and work-related social media, take steps to stay safe. Never upload the same picture to both your personal and work accounts. It takes 5 seconds to reverse search an image on Google and have both of your accounts pop up side by side. I don’t care how cute the picture was, don’t post it on both. Even if you edit the image, it can still be connected with the right software unless the editing is extreme. I advise not even risking it. I would also suggest changing your name on your personal social media accounts so that it isn’t your full legal name.  When you do post pictures to your work account, be mindful of what is in the background and where you say you are at all times. Is there a local restaurant that is unique to your home city that you frequent? Don’t post about it. Are you going to a concert downtown? Post it on your personal, not your work. Something that seems so innocent to you could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Upload everything as if someone is out there just waiting to get enough puzzle pieces to put together your life. If this seems too extreme, you need to watch some crime documentaries. Don’t talk about local events on your work social media. If you live in a large city with a vast population, you may feel better about posting that you live in Los Angeles or New York City since there are so many people. But even in major cities, all it takes is someone hiding out at the place you always post about getting sushi from and following you home. Also, be extremely wary about clients or followers probing for more information about your location. Keep your guard up; don’t get lulled into a false sense of security. Some of the most violent crimes against sex workers have been by long-term clients. Always be wary of what is in the background of photos, even outside of easily identifiable local landmarks. Does your friend have a cool car you want to use to pose for pictures? Great! The license plate has the county of registration on it. Be wary of license plates. Did you order a bunch of stuff off of Amazon? Brag about it! But please make sure that you cover up the address on the packages before taking a picture. Not just blurred out in the background but covered. People can enhance photos and make out an address if it’s visible. The same goes for paperwork lying around. Receipts have the address of the business on them. See where I am going with this? We have tons of compromising information around our house that we’ve never had to consider. I almost posted a picture of my new kitchen online when I moved and realized that my rental company had a magnet on the fridge with their name and address at the last second. If someone saw that, all they would have to do would be look up the company’s properties and find the one that had a kitchen like mine. Before you take any pictures or videos that you are going to post on a work-related platform, please get in the habit of triple checking the entire area for anything that contains compromising information. Even in a video, someone can slow it down and watch frame by frame to find what they are seeking. For example, if you take a video while driving, people may be able to make out street signs and business addresses in the background.  Sending and Receiving Products and Gifts I know that one of the most alluring parts of female domination and financial domination that outsiders see looking in are the mountains of gifts that some Dommes receive—piles of boxes from Amazon taller than the model. When I first started online, I posted my wishlist and did have several men start showering me in gifts. But then I realized something that made my stomach drop. The second someone added something to their cart to buy it for me; Amazon let them know the zip code of where it was going to be shipped. Third-party sellers will provide them with the full address. Shortly after this discovery, I noticed that they were sending photographs of the package sitting on my front doorstep to my clients. These photographs included the box that had my name and address printed on them and my front door. That meant that anyone who sent me a $5 pair of thigh highs had far more information about me that I am comfortable sharing with anyone online. I have contacted Amazon, and there is no way around these “safety” features. Due to this fact, I now only accept gift cards for Amazon and purchase the items myself. This way, I am the only one who sees this compromising information. I indeed started being spoiled less with physical gifts this way, but there is no amount of Michael Kors purses that are worth more than my safety. If you are going to allow people to send gifts directly to your house through any service not intended for sex workers, it is incredibly likely they will gain access to your home address or, at the very least, your zip code.  There are some sex-worker-friendly services, but they charge a fee for their service, and I decided it was too much to fool with for too little payout. I strongly advise looking into those safety services if you are dead set on people being able to send you physical gifts. There are other alternatives, such as getting a P.O. Box. While the P.O. Box does mask your home address, it does not eliminate the threat. The chances are that the P.O. Box that you rent will be at the post office closest to your house or within an hour’s drive. Nefarious people know this. They could begin searching for you within that radius you just provided them (similar to discovering your zip code via Amazon) or even stake out the post office and wait for you to visit your P.O. Box. Then all they have to do is follow you home. As far as mailing things out, this is also a personal call you have to make. When you mail out a package, they will try to force you to provide your return address unless you ship with stamps only or discuss it with them. Even if you keep your address off of the parcel, there will still be a stamp with that post office’s identification and zip code. If you live in a vast city, you may be comfortable with this. I, however, prefer to keep my exact location as hidden as possible. An alternative would be shipping things out infrequently and sending them through a long-distance friend. For example, if you want to sell panties, collect orders over two weeks and then ship them all to your friend. Put each pair in a pre-paid and addressed envelope and put all of those in one big box. Ship that box to your friend and have them just drop all of the little packages inside off at their local post office. That way, it appears that the panty packages are coming from somewhere completely different than where you live. You could even buddy up with another industry girl and keep each other safe! Even your longest-serving sub could be collecting enough information to show up at your house one day. People could also potentially send dangerous things through the mail to you. I’m not trying to scare you from pursuing sex work; I am just trying to warn you of the harsh realities. Only you can decide if the reward is better than the risk. But the truth of the matter is that there are dangerous people out there, and only you can choose how close to your real life you are willing to let them. Interacting with Clients One on One If you are interacting with clients via reputable adult platforms, the website itself usually jumbles your location. Even so, I advise running a VPN on all of your technology in your home at all times. I use Nord VPN, and most of the time, it works wonderfully. The tech you use as well as your internet have identifying information in it that a smart person can use to pinpoint your exact location—most of the interactions we have online share this information. A VPN masks your location so that it looks like you are accessing the internet from somewhere else. I know that I said most adult platforms do this for you, but I want the power to be in your hands. There is also a lot that we do off of adult platforms. TeamViewer is a popular request from subs. This program allows you to take control of a submissive’s computer from your own. (Before getting involved in these sorts of sessions, be sure you know your actions’ legality!) But, since you are tying your two computers together, they are also getting your IP address. The same goes for Skype, as well as the applications used to control sex toys long distances. Even if you opt to keep your location private on social media (or other websites), it isn’t. They keep track of where you are when you log into your accounts and store that data within your account. If someone were to gain access to your social media account, they have a list of everywhere you were when you logged into your account. Even if you use a long-distance sex toy, they provide each user with information about the other user’s location. A VPN ensures that your exact location is never shared accidentally. I think of my VPN as my internet condom, and always protect myself before interacting with clients or any strangers online. To clarify, the VPN will not do anything to scramble the metadata on your files. It will only help protect you in your online interactions. Even if you have your VPN while uploading your content, your information in the metadata will not be affected. Direct Payment from Clients There are many reasons not to accept direct payments from clients, but we will focus on the safety aspect. Most payment apps are not private, which makes sense because you are sending and receiving money, and the government wants to keep track of that. Big bummer, I know, but that’s just the world in which we live. Since adult sites take a minimum of 20% of our transactions, I can certainly understand the allure of sending people money where you can keep 100%. Remember what I said about no amount of money being worth your safety—this is one of those times. A lot of the payment apps will share your legal name with the person who is sending you money. The truth of the matter is that most of the payment apps ban us as soon as they realize what we do for a living. If a customer pays you through an adult website, everybody’s identity remains as private as they want. Clients insisting on paying via a third-party app instead of your preferred method is a red flag. Sending and receiving bitcoin is a rising trend amongst sex workers since it is truly anonymous. However, I am not well versed in it. From my understanding, it is the best method to receive money from clients anonymously, but keep in mind that there will still be transaction fees associated with it. Logging into their Online Accounts You will come across this at some point, I promise you. There will be subs who get ahold of you and want you to log into one of their online accounts to send yourself money from their account. Whether this is logging into their adult site profile, their social media, or online bank account, I strongly advise against it. First of all, if they dispute the charges (which they probably intend to do), you will not only lose all of that money but may also face legal charges. If you do ever end up in a legal battle with a client, they will have access to all of your personal information in the court paperwork. While this may be a tempting offer, the risks seem more significant than the potential reward. All they have to do is call the bank and let them know that there was money fraudulently transferred, and it would show that someone logged into their account from an unknown location. They would also be able to see your general area by checking their previous logins on their account unless you are wearing your internet condom! A VPN can help protect against this information being accurate enough to be dangerous on its own; it still looks dodgy if you’re logging into their account from an unknown location and transferring money. Please don’t end up in jail for theft, just trying to make a few hundred extra dollars. There are plenty of ways to make money without risking your personal information or safety, and not even being able to keep that money. Let’s say that you have a sub contact you and offer to serve you by allowing you to create a profile on their streaming service such as Netflix. That sounds innocent enough, right? Unfortunately, no. All online accounts now keep a record of each login and the location of each login. Privacy vs. Paranoia? Many clients are put off by us being so secretive about our personal lives. I mean, think about it. If someone wants to send you a gift (and they’re not bluffing) and you respond with “you could be a murderer” or another aggressive response, they will probably be offended and move on. Those who genuinely have good intentions will understand your precautions if presented in the right way. Make sure you outline your rules for your safety before logging online, so you have a response for everything.  Most seasoned clients understand that privacy is an issue, but some don’t know the reality of our job. However, painting a harsh reality of our situation won’t make them want to spend more money. Keep it light and fun, and always offer an alternative along with a positive. If they insist on purchasing from your wishlist, say something like, “Oh, I can’t have people send them directly due to privacy concerns, but I planned on placing an order tonight, and you could send a gift card towards it!” Then proceed to start talking about what you want to order, and hope they take the bait and remain positive. Maybe offer to surprise them with what you order. Good clients will have no issue doing what makes you the most comfortable. Be firm in your boundaries, but reiterate the positives that will come from staying within them. If they insist on using a third-party payment processor for whatever reason, tell them you don’t use that and follow up with “‘Oh, but they only keep 20% if you send on AVN Stars and I am in a little competition with myself to do better than last month/week! Look, I’m already at rank XYZ and don’t you think I deserve top blah blah?” See what I mean? You must also realize that it is common nature for humans to ask, “Where are you from?” in the “getting to know you” portion of an encounter. Most people mean nothing by this question, but we know that it is a dangerous question. My advice for small talk is to give your character a background story similar to yours but with details skewed. If you tell everyone who asks where you are from that “I can’t tell people where I live because you might be a stalker,” they are going to move on to another model most of the time. They know in the back of their mind that this is a fantasy, and they don’t expect every aspect to be real. They just want it to feel real. Giving them a false story builds more of a bond than a standoffish response. Stick with places that you are familiar with or have researched though. Many people travel and love to discuss details of your fantasy city. If you claim to live somewhere that doesn’t match your accent, say you moved there from somewhere that does. Know the local sports teams of your fantasy city. You don’t have to go into too much depth, but you do want to try to stick to one story, so you don’t get confused. Even though they know it is a fantasy, it has to seem real to them to keep them hooked in. Also, be mindful when traveling or on vacation to not post too many locations with identifying factors until you have safely left the area. People who may not want to go across the country to harm you may be more willing if you happen to be in their city. You may also be more vulnerable if you are traveling alone. Never say which hotel you are staying at, or when you will be arriving or leaving the airports. Be mindful at all times, but especially when traveling alone. It’s easy to keep this fun by waiting until the end of your day or even the next day to post your exploits and just claim you were too busy having fun to post. Keep your private information a secret without rubbing it in your fan base’s face that you don’t trust them. They know you don’t, they don’t need to hear it all the time. Female domination means that we are the ones that are supposed to be in a position of power. If you consistently focus on the safety risks and tell clients about how scary your job can be, you don’t come off as authoritative. You will come off as fearful. It’s also just bad business to throw negative information at a prospective buyer. While a healthy fear keeps us vigilant and alive, our persona is to be in complete control. If you come off as paranoid and afraid of men, you probably won’t make that sale anymore because you have removed the aspect of the interaction that the submissive male was seeking. Make your boundaries clear and distinct even before someone speaks to you if you can. Firmly assert your boundaries while remaining “in character.” If everything fails and someone refuses to respect your limits, they are either one of the dangerous people you need to avoid or trying to scam you. Either way, it’s time you move on to another potential client at that time. If you’ve decided it is time to move on and the potential client is still pursuing you, don’t be afraid to block them. Strangely enough, the more concerned with safety you appear to be, the more these types of clients are attracted to you. There are people out there who just enjoy getting a rise out of someone, and often that is the case. The less concerned you seem, the more these people will just leave you alone. If someone is contacting you through an adult platform that is making you feel unsafe, do not hesitate to reach out to site support and let them know it is urgent in the email header. If a situation starts to become dangerous, save all records of communication with the client or fan. Be prepared to reach out to law enforcement if need be. While these sites may assist in keeping you safe, you have to look out for number one at the end of the day. Compose your list of rules you are going to follow to stay safe, and know how you are going to stick to them. Also, have a backup plan for what you are going to do if someone threatens you or even starts stalking you. Stay safe, beautiful! Photography by @glitterflick/GlitterFlick.com

written by: Goddess Nikki Kit

source: Commentary: Goddess Nikki Kit On Staying Safe in Online Sex Work | AVN

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