Securing Sexuality is the podcast and conference promoting sex positive, science based, and secure interpersonal relationships. We give people tips for safer sex in a digital age. We help sextech innovators and toy designers produce safer products. And we educate mental health and medical professionals on these topics so they can better advise their clients. Securing Sexuality provides sex therapists with continuing education (CEUs) for AASECT, SSTAR, and SASH around cyber sexuality and social media, and more.
Links from this week’s episode:
Staying Safe Online: Tips for Sex Tech Activities
As the sex tech industry continues to grow and evolve, it's important for those involved to stay safe online. With the rise of digital technology, there are a variety of risks associated with engaging in activities related to sex tech.
From cyberbullying and harassment to identity theft and data breaches, it's essential that users take steps to protect themselves from potential threats. In this blog post, we'll discuss some tips for staying safe online in the sex tech industry. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your personal information remains secure and that you're able to enjoy your experiences without fear of harm or exploitation.
1. Use Strong Passwords: It's essential that you use strong passwords when accessing any type of online account related to sex tech. This includes accounts on websites such as adult entertainment sites or social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram. Make sure your passwords are unique and difficult for others to guess by using a combination of upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, avoid using words or phrases that could be easily guessed by someone who knows you well (such as your name or birthdate).
2. Be Careful What You Share: When engaging in activities related to sex tech online, it's important not to share too much personal information about yourself with strangers or people you don't know well. This includes things like your full name, address, phone number, email address etc., as well as any photos or videos which could be used against you if they were shared publicly without your consent.
3. Use Secure Platforms: Whenever possible, use secure platforms when engaging in activities related to sex tech online (such as encrypted messaging apps). This will help protect your data from being accessed by third parties who may have malicious intent towards you or those around you (such as hackers). Additionally make sure any websites used are legitimate and reputable before providing them with any personal information about yourself – if something looks suspicious then it’s best not take the risk!
4. Avoid Unsafe Links: Be wary of clicking on links sent via email or text message which appear suspicious – even if they come from someone who seems trustworthy! These links may contain malicious software which can compromise both your computer security and privacy if opened/downloaded onto a device connected to the internet (such as a laptop/desktop computer). If unsure whether a link is safe then contact the sender directly before opening/downloading anything onto your device(s).
5. Report Suspicious Activity: If at any point during an activity related to sex tech online something feels off then don’t hesitate to report it immediately! Whether this is through reporting an individual user account on social media platforms such as Twitter/Instagram/Facebook etc., contacting law enforcement authorities directly via their website/phone number etc.,or reaching out for help from organizations specializing in cyber safety – there are plenty of resources available which can provide assistance when needed most!
Following these tips will help ensure that users remain safe while engaging in activities related to sex tech online – so make sure they’re followed at all times! Remember, safety always comes first when navigating the digital world!
Stefani Goerlich: Hello and welcome to Securing Sexuality, the podcast where we discuss the intersection of intimacy...
Wolf Goerlich: ...and information security. I'm Wolf Goerlich.
Stefani Goerlich: He's a hacker, and I'm Stefani Goerlich.
Wolf Goerlich: She's a sex therapist, and together we're going to discuss what safe sex looks like in a digital age. Today we're joined by Nicole Schwartz, Senior Product Manager with Active State, Chief Operating Officer for The Diana Initiative. The Diana Initiative is the conference dedicated to helping all those underrepresented in information security.
Nicole Schwartz: Hey!
Wolf Goerlich: How's it going?
Nicole Schwartz: It's going pretty good. It's almost the end of the week.
Wolf Goerlich: You know the weeks go by so fast.
Nicole Schwartz: It's a blessing and a curse. It's like 'yay weekend!' and 'oh no, I didn't finish all those Jira tickets yet".
Stefani Goerlich: Meanwhile yesterday I was halfway through the day and thought it was Friday so I've just been, I've crammed too many days into too few days.
Nicole Schwartz: And now you have two Fridays? That's an upside, right?
Stefani Goerlich: I love the reframing. That is fabulous. I get double Fridays this week.
Wolf Goerlich: So Nicole, a while back you did an experiment and you wrote about that experiment and I'm hoping you will tell us about that experiment.
Nicole Schwartz: Sure. So, many people may know I really love tea and I blog a lot about tea and for the Internet of Dongs project I wanted to look into if I were to do video cam modeling, making tea on various well known sites that people were using through the pandemic to have side income, how long it would take if I did not have good OPSEC for people to find me organically, if I was not paying for ads, if I was not pushing my content just for people organically to find out that I had this adult website. So, I started making tea and posting that instead of to my normal channels over onto adult cam model sites after the adventure for anyone who has not been through it of trying to prove that you are your driver's license, holding your driver's license up next to your face and trying to get the AI recognition software to believe that you look like your driver's license picture. And it only took about a week before one of my friends sent me a direct message and was like, hey, you know, nothing wrong with this - they're very sex positive - but were like is this you? They are security adjacent. They are aware of the fact that some people steal other people's content and post it places or that you can do deep fakes and other things. So I think they were genuinely just trying to figure out like, is somebody impersonating you because this is definitely your shtick or, you know, did you actually make this content? And I'm like, I love you. This is perfect. Can you detail for me exactly how you found that? And he was like, sure.
And so he explained that he was on Twitter on his main account and he saw in suggested people that he might follow that my account was recommended to him because I had much like a lot of people do, you create a Reddit account and a Twitter account and so on and so forth to promote your cam model site. And I hadn't done any tweeting or anything from it. It just existed. And that was promoted to him. And he clicked on it, saw the video and then direct messaged me. And then within another couple of days, I had another friend similarly doing that from Reddit and it had been surfaced to them via the algorithm because both of these friends did also like tea and did also know me. And so this was done intentionally with poor OpsSec. I used the same laptop to do my regular tea blogging as I did my adult tea blogging. I did not use different Chrome browser sessions. I didn't have any kind of VPN. There was no, absolutely no protection at all. I didn't hide any part of my house. You could obviously tell it was the exact same room, exact same person, exact same shelf behind me with tea in both cases. So I very quickly went from no followers to tons of my friends asking me if this was legitimately my account.
Wolf Goerlich: Oh no. All right. So the story is fantastic. Also because I think the way I met you was years ago over Twitter when I was looking into Yerba Mate and you sent me some, you sent me some tea and years later, here we are, although it's hindsight, maybe knowing more. I'm not so sure I should have shared my address with you.
Nicole Schwartz: My Christmas list. We joke like I need to have tight security on my Christmas list because I have the home address of a large and amazing assortment of hackers. And if anyone got a hold of that list, it could, it could be bad potentially.
Wolf Goerlich: Protect that list. All right. Back, back to algorithms. Certainly we've talked about operational security. You know, be careful what's outside, be careful about reflections, be careful about what's reflecting in your glasses. And we've talked about these things on the podcast before, but to be honest, I hadn't considered the algorithm connecting the dots you don't want to connect.
Nicole Schwartz: It's actually a very common problem that Facebook had and continues to have where trans individuals or sex workers will be outed via the Facebook you might know algorithm because they use a geolocation as well as mutual friends to increase the likelihood that two people may know one another. And so you may be maintaining two separate Facebook profiles, but if you're using that same phone and you are always going to the same coffee shop with these people, they may get promoted your sex worker profile when you don't want them to, because you go to the same coffee shop and they're going to recognize you, which is why you have to unfortunately think about what things does an algorithm take into account to promote things to people. So it's not, like you said, just about reflections. It's not just about tattoos. It's about what is the magical black box of promotional algorithms going to use to think people might be interested in your content?
Stefani Goerlich: That was something that used to happen to me quite frequently when I worked in community mental health. It was not uncommon for Facebook to suggest that I should be friends with the parents of my clients. I worked with young people. And obviously these are not kids that I have any social media connections to. I would actively avoid finding them online. And yet Facebook was able to connect enough dots to say, well, you should hang out with their mom on here. And it was always very disconcerting for me.
Nicole Schwartz: Yeah, it definitely is. In this particular case, I was hoping for and just counting down a timer. The timer really was only seven days at best. And if you're not expecting that, it definitely can be kind of a splash of cold water. Where did this come from? Why is this recommendation showing up here? So yeah, that's kind of where the article that we wrote that said if you're interested in cam modeling, here is some offset considerations you may not have taken into account. A lot of people know I shouldn't show necessarily my tattoos. I shouldn't show out my window if I've got a distinctive background. But we went into you really should use completely separate browsers if possible because marketing and algorithms use browser fingerprinting. And the interesting thing is that sometimes they'll actually use beaconing and Wi-Fi for anybody who's gone to maybe a B-sides where they're sharing equipment and you try to get a taxi and it's like you're in Las Vegas. It's like now I'm in Washington, DC. Actually they're just using the same Wi-Fi points that Google had decided live in Las Vegas. So Wi-Fi access points and different beaconing devices get associated with certain things and are used to say, oh, you hang out in the same place or potentially you're in this location if I can't actually use GPS to pinpoint you.
Wolf Goerlich: You must be you. Speaking of browser fingerprinting, Stefani, for your information, I could geek out on this topic for a long time. Your eyes would glaze over. You probably won't want to hear any more about it. But the very short of it is this. It's possible with a great degree of certainty to identify any one browser with any one person because we install different things in our computers. We go to different websites. We may have applied different fonts, different plugins. So even if you've emptied your cookies, even if you're using incognito mode.
Nicole Schwartz: If you're using VPN, any of that doesn't save you from it being a very unique fingerprint.
Wolf Goerlich: Right.
Stefani Goerlich: I mean, that makes sense to me because it becomes the absence of something, right? You're noticing a unique pattern of incognito mode, of blankness in a record that only that person would have blank spots in.
Nicole Schwartz: Now jumping to my day job is like a weird tangent. We use different marketing materials in a privacy protective way. I don't necessarily want to know the individual behind a particular thing. But the tooling that we use is able to connect not only this web browser session, but with this phone session. They have enough information on pattern recognition that these devices are always used in a similar way or in a similar household that I can track somebody's experience without them being logged in from the different devices they use to view our website. And we also get a very good guess about what company that they work for. Even in the day and age right now of remote work, I can guess at what company they work at and all this has surfaced to me. We use it obviously ethically to be like, are people running into friction in our pipeline that we need to reduce and get people to buy our product? Whereas if you're not necessarily using it ethically, or even if you are, there might be unintended consequences to that when you're not considering all the different potential users and what you're doing as a result of this fingerprinting and saying this is one person despite the fact I don't have their email address.
Wolf Goerlich: Now ethically we are able to identify perhaps anonymously people buy activities. Well, we used to think that an individual was identified by an email address or logging into a social media account or banking, right? Which reminds me moving from privacy to security, what did you learn about the financial services side of things? Because I was recently surprised to learn how, let's say precarious, it can be for performers and content producers to link their accounts to their banks.
Nicole Schwartz: Oh yeah, so after you've signed up to be an adult performer and you have done a ton of paperwork where you have basically given your social insurance number if you're Canadian, your social security number if you're American, your driver's license, like passport, tons of things that you are entrusting to them not to lose and to securely handle. Which thankfully the number of sites that I used and I was testing their different, are you using the best SSL and encryption that you can and is this form actually encrypted? And it was for everyone I ran into but I was only testing the major players. But they now have that trove of information on me. Then the next step becomes, okay, how do you want to monetize this? And that is kind of a multi-leveled question because first, they're going to say if you are new and you're not a large company, if you're going to have small amounts of income, first off you can only get paid out when you hit certain thresholds. Second, we're only going to offer you these options as an individual.
If you're with an agency, there may be additional options. Now depending which company you're looking at, those options could be that we're going to mail you a paper check. We're going to send it to PayPal. We're going to send it to, you know, directly to your bank account. You know, really depends. But as soon as you then are associating, for example, PayPal with that, some banks and financial institutions have a very negative view of sex work, despite the fact that it is fully legal. They will then potentially decide that they don't want you as a customer. And they can do that or they can flag you as high risk. PayPal is known for freezing people's accounts with really very limited recourse. And you know, then you suddenly lose access to that money. There's also the chance that you're going to have people maliciously doing charge backs against you, which depending on how the site you're signing up through does it may or may not affect you. It may cascade all the way down to you if it's just a pass through site. Or in other cases, the charge back is directly against the parent company and it's not going to really impact you at all. But if you get enough charge backs, they may say that you can no longer be one of the performers because you have this particular bad rate. And then you also get into the weird space of a lot of people because of the services that they offer, they take a percent.
So you're losing a percent from the company that you're, you know, posting your content on. You're losing a percent potentially from PayPal or Venmo or your banking institution if they charge for you to receive wires in. And so after losing all of that, you may say, okay, how can I make a little bit more? You may look into, can I get tips outside of that ecosystem? Can I have people Venmo me directly? In a lot of cases, that's completely against contract. If you're caught doing that, they may cancel your contract and not allow you to use that site anymore. But a lot of people, you know, will say, hey, this performance, you know, whatever, but I can do private performances if you contact me here and they might have a Proton mail email account or maybe Yahoo, who knows, hopefully not their personal account. And then start taking things through Venmo and all. If your Venmo has your personal information versus your screen name, because a lot of financial institutions have the know your customer rules, they require once again, your driver's license, your real name, et cetera, you are now at risk of stalking because you wanted to get a higher percentage of that money. And so I can see the business side of it. And I can also see the performers side of that. But that unfortunately can put a lot of risk on them.
Stefani Goerlich: Talk to me about the way that people experience those similar risks in other areas. We talked a little bit about Facebook. We talked about chargebacks. I'm thinking about, you know, my clients who might be, they're my clients, of course, they're into BDSM and Kink and they are wanting community. They're wanting connection. Maybe they're wanting a cam girl that gets their unique fetish. Maybe they're just wanting to find local groups and places to connect. How do they navigate these sort of digital and financial and all sorts of pitfalls that people that are doing this for living experience?
Nicole Schwartz: For the people looking for community and not necessarily looking to pay people for particular services, there are a ton of dating and also just socializing sites out there catering to the Kink community. A lot of them unfortunately were put together by people who saw a need and wrote it from that perspective. And those sites were not designed necessarily securely. I'm sure everybody has heard of Tinder, which is not necessarily known for Kink. But Tinder, you could geolocate people very easily with the amount of information that they were giving out. They weren't displaying it in the UI. But if you looked at the information coming back in the APIs itself, you could tell exactly where someone was. This is a site that got a lot of funding. We're talking about Kink sites that are going to have a much smaller audience and a lot less potential of investment. So a lot of those sites are funded very poorly and have very small staff. So they do not have a security person. It's honestly pretty terrifying.
So I would say first off, any of the community sites, it's really always good to find your local community. But you have to take into account that whatever you're putting into there, just assume that it's going to be stolen or hacked, honestly. At least a lot of the sites that I've seen because their quote unquote security is security through obscurity, where they think somebody is not going to look. You can iterate a lot of them through their photo APIs or through their photo buckets and access a lot of photos that might be marked as private or friends only, when really that's not the case if you're looking behind the scenes. So I heavily used a particular socializing site for I ran local meetup groups. I found friends. But the thing that you'll notice is a lot of people are not from the area.
So you usually have to cast a pretty wide net. And so I think it is very good for people to think about that, should I be the next town over? Should I be two or three towns over? Because you're going to have to balance the ability to talk intelligently about the area so that people realize you're a real person. You're not a scammer. You're not a bot. And it's the same struggle that CAM models have. As a CAM model, I want to be able to talk about the area that I'm in and be able to have casual conversation with people before or after a session, perhaps. And if I say that I'm in Seattle, but I'm really in Kansas, I may not have enough information unless I grew up in Seattle to talk intelligently about it. Or I may not know what the weather is right there. And the easier it is for people to find you and connect to you, the easier you're going to find your community or the people, the fans that want to give you money. So you have to have this balance between believability and safety. And so generally, I recommended being a couple towns over. Or if you're in a small state, be in the next state because people will drive one state over.
The general OPSEC stuff applies. If you have a super distinctive tattoo or super distinctive rug, maybe don't include those in the photos. Because like I said, a lot of those sites, the secure photos are not really secure at all. Obviously, don't put in your name. If you want to pay for the service, it used to be that you could do prepaid credit cards in a CVS, green dot type situations. But because of some hesitancy on the side of credit card providers, it's actually harder and harder for these sites to accept money through major credit card providers. So you actually have to get into the world of Bitcoin. And Bitcoin is up, down, and all sorts of madness. So I feel bad for anyone who dives into there just because that is such an unstable monetary unit. It's not really a monetary unit, but that's a whole podcast episode on itself. And so can you pay to get the premium services? What risks are you taking there? Are you going to throw some money into some Bitcoin and then suddenly it's going to get devalued and you have to get some more and just get the services you want out of that dating kinky dating site or kinky socializing site? And then the things we talked about with the fingerprinting, they have analytics because in a lot of cases they're selling ads.
So you're still running that same chance of necessarily being surfaced to a do you have an ex in the area that you might get surfaced to? Is that perhaps an abusive ex potentially? So all the same OPSEC rules apply and kind of you get the added bonus of you really do need to be genuine because otherwise you're not going to connect. You're not going to make that community. So you've got to stick with, you know, a couple towns over and just spread your net pretty wide and assume everybody else, especially everyone who lives in Antarctica and anyone listening who knows what I'm talking about, you know what site I'm talking about. Yeah, everyone lives in Antarctica on one of the sites. So sometimes you just got to take a chance and go for like, Hey, you know, are you vaguely around this area, whatever, and just respect that they're probably going to be just as opaque with you as you are with them until you can meet up in person somewhere at preferably a munch or something where it's a whole big group of people, which is going to add to kind of the safety and mutual accountability of it.
Stefani Goerlich: That has often become frustrating to hear their guidance to my clients and my consultees is as much as we want to lean on the internet as delightful as it is to have a full menu of people to swipe through on your phone. The more niche your community is, the more likely you are to find it in real life, not online. I know what you mean when you talk about Antarctica and I know because I hang out with people like you and Wolf that Antarctica is a great example of OPSEC. But for the other people in my world that don't speak hacker, can one of the two of you explain what you mean when you say OPSEC?
Nicole Schwartz: So operational security and Wolf, you probably have like way more on this than me is basically in my opinion, thinking before you post something, if I wanted to find someone based on this for good or for bad, like if I'm police looking for a missing person versus a stalker looking for a person, it's going to be the same skills. What information is being given away? Silly examples that probably people can associate really fast is when someone on the news has a posted note on their monitor with a password and they're interviewed and it shows up and now everyone knows the password for that system and they probably said where they worked. Hopefully it's not a critical system and hopefully someone tells them to change their password. And I definitely do it often myself. I snap a couple pictures of the cats being cute and I don't necessarily think about what's in the background and I go back later because I kind of put an internal timer.
I'm not allowed to like instantly - like, cute cat! - want to post it to the internet? No, I got to wait. And then I have to look at the picture a couple minutes later because there's times where I have like a signal conversation on my laptop behind the cat's head and it's like, I don't really need to share that conversation that I was having with a friend for someone who chooses to zoom in on that picture because cameras today are amazing. They're high megapixel, really great photos that you can zoom into. Not quite as great as in the videos on you know like NCIS or whatever, but same idea. And so it's just what information are you giving away that you don't realize that you're giving away?
Stefani Goerlich: And I think that being cognizant of that is so important. One of the things that maybe I've told this story before, I know that I talk about it a lot when I'm explaining why Wolf and I started doing this, was I was approached on Twitter by somebody who I didn't know, who said, I know your books, I know your work, I see that you work with kinky people, I'm building a new dating app for the BDSM community, would you share it with your users? Or with your clients rather? And good Lord, I've been spending too much time hanging out with you people. I just called my clients ‘users’.
Nicole Schwartz: Come to the dark side.
Stefani Goerlich: Oh, I feel dirty right now guys.
Wolf Goerlich: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. The hackers are making you feel dirty, right? The person who researches and writes what like three books on kink? This is what makes you feel dirty.
Stefani Goerlich: I don't like it in the world of mental health when people refer to their clients as consumers. I think that's one of the worst language changes that occurred in my world in years. And so to hear me just so easily call my clients “users” makes me want to crawl into a hole. But they wanted me to share what they were building with my clients, and I have been hanging out with you and your kin long enough that I knew better than to just randomly share the coolest new resource. So I reached out to a friend of ours who does penetration testing, which for the me people in our audience who don't speak hacker, it's getting hired to break something on purpose and then explain how they broke it and why. And I said, you know, I know you're not, they're not a client of yours, you can't do anything too much because you don't have the authority to do that. And I don't want you to do anything unethical. I'm just asking, can you poke around at whatever is public and tell me if this is something I can share with my clients. So already, you know, the stakes have been lowered to, you know, Nicole, as you said, kind of stalker-y boyfriend level, right?
I'm not asking for any skill or strategy, just whatever might be publicly available. And in less than 30 minutes, he was sending me links to their users, Facebook pages, links to their users, Pinterest pages. And I was absolutely blown away. And I actually reached back out to them and said, this could be really great and this community needs it. Would you want to talk to people about making it stronger and safer? And then maybe I could share it. And I never heard back. And that for me, it was a huge realization in why talking about these sorts of subjects are so important, especially for the people that don't live it and breathe it the way you two do.
Nicole Schwartz: And it is really hard to explain. My mom probably has never known what I've done for a living, although she did take me to DEFCON 8 and 9, my first DEFCONs. So, she's seen us. She can recognize my people on site, but still does not know what we actually do. And she just basically had her phone compromised recently. She doesn't understand marketing fingerprinting. She doesn't understand that what you see in the user interface sometimes is filtered and there's more information behind it. She just knew something funny was happening with her phone. And I was able to walk her through looking at particular things and doing other things and determined, I just need to order you a new phone because I'm not going to have you remotely try and clean your phone. That's just, we're just getting you a new phone. And that's something that I had the financial ability to do. And there are definitely people who don't have that ability and get these kind of terrible things on their laptops or their phones. And it may be their only device and they're not great. There are some resources out there for people, but they're not great resources, unfortunately.
Wolf Goerlich: There are not. No, we've got a long way to go. And the flip side of this is we in technology are often like, you should have known, right? I was recently on the We Hack Purple podcast with Tanya speaking about just this point. Oh, by the way, which was sponsored by The Diana Initiative.
Nicole Schwartz: And Tanya is our keynote. We're stoked.
Wolf Goerlich: Oh, she's the best. But one of the things that came up in that conversation was accept data, exactly what we're talking about here, right? So having hung out with Stefani and her people, I think I've got a little bit of a unique perspective on this because the security thing is you should know that cameras put metadata in photos and you should know that metadata means your location and you should know how cameras and XF works. And if you get stalked, it's your own fault for not knowing these things. And the first few times that in the real world these mistakes happened, technologists were very critical. We were so critical about people who had bad things happen to them for making these mistakes. But I think a daunting realization I've had is, you know, we're shifting the blame, right? We're shifting the blame. Why did we build these technologies that could be abused like that in the first place? Why didn't we consider potential abuses before putting cameras in the hands of regular people?
Nicole Schwartz: It's the double edged sword I was talking about. The marketing fingerprinting, it allows me to figure out where customers are running into problems at my day job and where we need to fix our process. You would not be able to have in Google Photos, Google Photos automatically grouping all of your pictures from a trip. You would not be able to have in Apple Photos all of your pictures from a particular event grouped together if that metadata was not there. So the metadata, much like everything in life, it can be used for good or for bad. And so I don't actually blame the camera makers because I know that I appreciate the XF data in my personal photo and video collections. And I'm actually very happy that I'm going to call this out because it's a good thing. If you upload to Xtube, they strip XF data. And that is the thing is like you were saying, we shouldn't force people to know and act on security information. If you have a social media site, you should be stripping that data on behalf of your users or like making it super obvious to them. Like this photo contains this information. Do you want to remove it or whatever? And like opt to yes by default. Be more secure by default.
I don't go quite as far as my husband, RenderMan. He thinks that the children are running around with knives and his entire job is to keep them from stabbing one another accidentally on the playground. I think maybe some of the kids have scissors, maybe some of them have knives. It's not all butchers knives with everyone running around. But I do absolutely agree that we need people to step in and be like maybe we should give you the safety shears. That would go a little bit better here. And not let users hurt themselves. Like have them have to opt in more knowingly or genericize it. Like maybe somebody does on Twitter want to tag that they went to Hawaii. Could there not be some notification that says like, you know, do you want everyone to know you're in Hawaii? Simply yes, no. Like maybe yes, I do because I'm bragging or whatever. Or maybe I'm like, huh, no, I am kind of infamous on the internet and people might come and pour red paint on me. I don't know. So.
Wolf Goerlich: Or take your tea.
Nicole Schwartz: Yeah. I mean, like there are so many tea plantations in Hawaii. I went to Hawaii for Loco MocoSec and I specifically added three days onto the trip so I could visit all the tea plantations there.
Stefani Goerlich: Which I love and I'm a little offended you didn't invite me. But next time, next time.
Nicole Schwartz: Next time.
Stefani Goerlich: So those are phenomenal suggestions on the kind of the builder side, the company side. Those are things that are directly relevant to sort of the sex tech conversations we've been having with other people. But what I'm curious about is for those of us who are running around with sharp edge tools as opposed to the ones protecting us from it and wrapping us in bubble wrap, what can everyday people do to make sure that they're running around with the little rounded point kindergarten scissors and not a digital butcher knife for our safety? What should we be asking? What should we be thinking about? Whether it's somebody that's wanting to find community or a sexy cam girl or whether it's somebody wanting to be that sexy cam girl. How can we keep ourselves bubble wrapped in the absence of companies taking those amazing steps you suggested?
Nicole Schwartz: So unfortunately none of it is easy. Obviously I don't know if you can put it in the show notes, send people the full blog that goes into like all the options. But I'd say the safe middle of the road that doesn't incur a lot of additional costs for anyone is to install on your browser an extension that allows you to read or wipe XF data. Put in a VPN and have two separate browsers. Have the Firefox for your personal stuff and the Chrome for your kinky stuff or use Internet Explorer or whatever. I don't care. Just use two completely separate browsers for the different activities and keep it isolated and have two separate emails.
Think of yourself you're playing James Bond and you have a cover identity. So for your kinky networking or your kinky cam-girling have a very consistent external name, email address. Always use the same browser. Have some simple plug-ins for that browser that are available across all the major browsers to help you wipe things out, clear things out and try to pause before uploading. I know that when you're making chit chat with people, it's a little bit harder which is why I said don't fake something from a completely different country or whatever. Keep it somewhat close to home so you can talk intelligently. But don't talk about your pets. Don't talk about your kids. Or come up with very consistent nicknames for them and don't use it across the two. Eventually your lives will get a little muddy because you're going to have friends from both groups and they might hang out together depending how well you can keep that wall up. But just the more that you can keep things just cleanly divided on your computer for your phone, they have the work profiles at least on Android. So you can make one that is a work profile and one that is a personal profile. That kind of allows those to have two separate identifying fingerprints.
So, yeah, thinking about what you're going to say ahead of time, keeping it consistent, keeping it as close to the truth as possible because the bigger the lie, the harder it is to remember the one you're going to mess up. And use a VPN if you want to be from that next town. Super simple. A lot of them will let you literally just be like pretending you're in that next town. And overall, like, you're never going to get it 100% right. I don't get it 100% right even when I'm trying. You're going to make a mistake. So just assess how dangerous is it for you. In my particular case, I'm very lucky. My family and friends know that I did this crazy project. They also know what other crazy stuff I do like Internet of Dongs and whatever. So it's not going to my employers always know about these projects. So I'm not going to end up unemployed. I am not going to end up divorced. I'm not going to end up without family or estranged.
But I can tell you that if that was the case, I would be much more cognizant of keeping clear separation of names. Like a lot of people now will call me Circuits One or Nicole and I'm like, call me either one. I don't really care. It's interchangeable. And some of my friends do because their family is not welcoming or encompassing. So yeah, can I look at the little exit plug in and see where that picture was taken? Don't upload that one. Scrub it before you upload it. Make sure the VPN is saying I'm in one town over. Make sure I've got you can color code your browsers now. So they have different, you know, one's dark mode, one's light mode. That'll make it super obvious to you if you've accidentally made a mistake. Don't rely on just remembering it like color code.
Wolf Goerlich: All great tips. And I hope I'm not alone right now in humming the James Bond theme song, which I will not expose any of you to. Although it's worth calling out that James Bond got it wrong because he always used his real name. So there's that. But with that and with my newfound desire to wrap my wife and in some bubble wrap to keep her safe, I want to thank everyone for tuning in to securing sexuality, your source to protect yourself and your relationships.
Stefani Goerlich: I'm a little suspicious. That's not why you want to wrap me in bubble wrap. But securing sexuality is brought to you by the Bound Together Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit. From the bedroom to the cloud, we're here to help you navigate safe sex in a digital age.
Wolf Goerlich: You can be suspicious, but for everybody else, please be sure to check out our website, securingsexuality.com for links to the article Nicole mentioned and all the other topics we've discussed here today and for information about our live conference in Detroit.
Stefani Goerlich: And join us again for more fascinating conversations about the intersection of sexuality and technology. Have a great week.
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