Last month, something private to me was posted on the internet. I was caught off guard because I expected this vendor to check with me first. But, I considered myself guilty too – I knew this person had a blog, so I should have told this person that the information I shared with her was private.
I know better now.
This incident got me to thinking – What can a bride do to protect her privacy on the web? I have some recommendations below.
· Check the Model Release in Your Vendor Agreements. A couple of years ago, a former client of mine was surprised to find her wedding picture was on her make-up artist’s business card. No one asked my former client if it was okay because the make-up artist purchased the picture from the photographer. Before you sign each wedding vendor agreement, review and discuss the model release. You want to be sure you understand how, when (and how often) your wedding images may be used.
I bet you are wondering how the photographer could sell a picture of the bride to the make-artist. Right? Well, according to KODAK, “the laws say that the ‘author’ is the owner of the copyright.” “If a professional photographer took the photo for you, then he or she owns the copyright. If that photographer is an employee of a studio or other person in the business of making photos, then his or her employer is considered the author.”
If you don’t want your images published, have an honest conversation with your photographer (and all of your other wedding vendors) BEFORE the agreement is signed. You may come to an agreement that allows them to publish shots of the wedding decor only. Communication is important here.
· Keep Your Last Name to Yourself. If a magazine or a blog or even one of your wedding vendors decides to showcase your wedding, ask them to avoid printing your last name. It’s not necessary to use your last name, and it helps you to maintain some of your privacy. While you are at it, don’t give out your address, telephone number, place of work or your social security number either.
· Protect Your Primary E-Mail Address. Avoid using your primary e-mail address when you comment on blogs; post to public internet boards; or when you participate on social networking sites. Some of these sites may use your e-mail address as an identifier, which means your e-mail address can be easily discovered by spammers. Instead, consider creating and using an e-mail account specifically-created for your wedding planning. Also, don’t use your first and last name in your wedding-specific e-mail address.
· Be Mindful of Public Wi-Fi. When I need a break from my home office, I typically find myself working in a Panera Bread Cafes. I have a thing for their Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, and they have free access to wireless internet. If you use free Wi-Fi like me, I recommend that you avoid sending personal or confidential information. You will never know if the girl sitting at the table next to you could be there to monitor what you are doing.
· Nothing Truly Leaves The Internet. I learned something from some of my very smart iWED friends that “nothing is TRULY ever deleted off of the internet.” Apparently, a lot of internet services rely on numerous servers to ensure that internet files (accessed by millions) are easily available. So, you can go ahead and delete that angry comment you made about your maid-of-honor on Twitter. And guess what? That comment is probably still out there on a ghost site.
Always remember that you can utilize and enjoy the internet while you plan your wedding. But you should always be on guard of your privacy.
Love & Soul Always, Kay