I’m writing this post from the position that a) you’re an escort and b) you don’t want your family and friends knowing that you’re an escort. I’ve listed some tips below that i’ve picked up over the last few years on keeping your personal and professional lives as separate as possible in a world of smart phones and intrusive social media apps.
The important thing to remember is that social media companies are desperate to link you to other people. That’s their main purpose. And they go to great lengths to do it with various clauses in their terms and conditions which you will undoubtedly never read. They track your calls, your messages, your contacts, the locations you visit and they even pick out key words in conversations you are having. I’m referring to that conversation between you and your mum as you sat enjoying a cup of tea last week, with your phone on the table within earshot. I am not talking about the content of phone calls (though it wouldn’t surprise me if they listen to those too).
Unless you are never ever going to sign up to any of these apps – even just for a sneaky peak – I would urge you to read and action the tips below.
Facebook (who also own WhatsApp, Instagram and many other companies) are a nightmare when it comes to harvesting data from your phone and desperately trying to link you to others via their social media platform.
That client you rang from your personal phone (being careful to with withhold your number first) to ask for directions on where to park? Yep, he will be coming up in your suggested friends some time soon, or worse, you’ll be coming up in his. Perhaps you chat to your clients on WhatsApp from your business phone, and one time logged into your personal Facebook, Instagram or one of the many other apps they own from the same phone? Yep, they’ve got you linked.
Because it’s near enough impossible NOT to get linked in this day and age, my view is that the best approach is to lock down your personal social media, rather than try and out smart the smartphones.
Firstly, check every Facebook setting and secure your account like you’re a Russian spy on the run from Putin. Limit all past posts so that they can be viewed by friends only, and make sure all future posts are friends only. Once you’ve done that, the most important thing you can do as sex worker who values your anonymity is below.
Do not have an identifying profile photo or header photo on your personal Facebook account. Your face should not be visible in either of these photos, ever. Essentially your aim is that when you are shown to a client as a potential Facebook friend, he does not recognise you and scrolls right on by. If he recognises you, he now knows your name, where you live and work and depending on how careful you are with your data, he can see your friends and family too. All because you called him to ask for directions.
I have even gone so far as to remove my surname from my Facebook account, instead entering something rather more random. Yes this breaches their terms and conditions and is a bit odd for my family and friends, but it’s an extra level of security for me and it works very well.
Ah Twitter, the one social media network that (currently) lets escorts go about their daily business without too much fuss. What’s not so obvious though is that the Twitter app for your smartphone is an intrusive little shitbag and if you create your sex worker Twitter account via said app, and you are not very quick and careful to nail down the settings, it will go through all the contacts in your phone and send any who hold a Twitter account a push notification to let them know you’ve done so. Trust me, ‘Your Contact has Joined Twitter as @SuzyTheSlut is not a notification you want sent to your dad’s phone.
If you are a sex worker, the best and safest advice is do not create your Twitter account via the app. Do it via a web browser, in incognito mode, and do not enter your personal email or phone number – enter your escort number and email instead. Following on from this, if you are going to use the app once you’ve created the account, install it on your escort phone only and do not have any personal contacts saved in that phone. Keep those contacts strictly business.
Despite these precautions, it is still likely that by logging into the Twitter app will try and link you to others you know in real life by bringing them up as suggested friends. I regularly get my real life friends coming up as suggestions in the Elite Courtesans Twitter account, despite me meticulously keeping my business and personal phones separate. Meh. God knows how they do it. Occasionally I ring my personal phone from the agency phone when I can’t find it, for example, it may well be they are linking me in that way.
So the same advice applies as to Facebook, do not have any face or identifiable photos in your sex worker Twitter account. A locked escort Twitter account – while an option – isn’t necessarily the best for business, so instead police your timeline carefully and make sure you don’t post anything that could out you to your friends or loved ones.
The very best advice I can give you when it comes to Twitter, is to sign up to https://www.tweetdelete.net/ and make sure your tweets are automatically deleted after a period of time (a few months or so). Tweets only really have any value in the right here and now, so not having them sitting there forever is sensible and won’t cause your business any harm. Plenty of people trawl old tweets, including government agencies keen to make sure you’ve declared all of your income (which I am sure you all have).
In the case of personal Twitter accounts, best advice is to keep them locked with no face photos on your profile or header.
My personal favourite app! I was so cheesed off when Zuckerberg got his mitts on it. Locked account. No face photo as profile. Make sure the number and email you link it to has nothing to do with your escort profile. Do not install the app on the phone you use to take calls from clients, or make calls to clients. Instagram does seem less problematic overall currently, but this will change.
So in conclusion, if you are one of the many people out there who’s let their vanity run riot on social media (probably 95% of us), and you also happen to work in the sex industry and would rather like to keep that a secret, it’s time to reassess your relationship with it all. Yes, I know you want to show the world where you went on holiday or what wonderful clean eating meal you cooked yourself for lunch, but it’s best to keep your circle small and private, at least while your escort persona is alive and kicking. The impact of being outed can be devastating and in some cases dangerous. Even if you’re not worried about yourself, the impact on your children can be so very tough, and always something to keep in mind. It shouldn’t be like that, but it is, and you must be careful.
What tips do you have when it comes to social media? If i’ve missed anything, feel free to leave your thoughts as a comment.