The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy

Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy

Practical Tips for Staying Safe Online
by Violet Blue
August 2015, 176 pp.

The whirlwind of social media, online dating, and mobile apps can make life a dream—or a nightmare. For every trustworthy website, there are countless jerks, bullies, and scam artists who want to harvest your personal information for their own purposes. But you can fight back, right now.

In The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy, award-winning author and investigative journalist Violet Blue shows you how women are targeted online and how to keep yourself safe. Blue’s practical, user-friendly advice will teach you how to:

  • Delete personal content from websites
  • Use website and browser privacy controls effectively
  • Recover from and prevent identity theft
  • Figure out where the law protects you—and where it doesn’t
  • Set up safe online profiles
  • Remove yourself from people-finder websites

Even if your privacy has already been compromised, don’t panic. It’s not too late to take control. Let The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy help you cut through the confusion and start protecting your online life.

Author Bio 

Violet Blue is an investigative tech reporter, an award-winning sex writer, and a columnist for Engadget. Her priors include CBS News, CNET, CNN, Financial Times, Forbes, PCWorld, ZDNet, and others. She is also a member of the Internet Press Guild and an advisor for Without My Consent. She maintains a sexuality blog at and can be found on Twitter, @violetblue.

Table of contents 

View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)
View the Index (PDF)


“An illuminating handbook for women.”
ELLE Magazine

“Violet Blue is not just a writer and journalist; she’s also a friend and advocate to every female* who has a computer or smart phone...This book is highly recommended for public and school libraries, as well as social science and technology classes.”
Becky Walton, Ingram Collection Development Librarian

The Advocate names The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy one of the Best Books You Missed in 2015. "A no-nonsense, simple-to-follow formula. Smart stuff."

"One of the best resources for learning to protect your online communications is Violet Blue’s The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy. The book is relevant for both men and women who want to strengthen their cybersecurity and online privacy."
Joe Kukura, SF Weekly

“Women face unique threats and have to deal with safety and privacy issues that few–if any–men will ever even be aware of, much less concerned about. Violet Blue does an excellent job of describing what those issues are and providing simple, actionable advice to help readers stay safe online.”
Tony Bradley, techspective

“In this must-read for anyone who uses their laptop or phone to go online, Blue details the numerous ways women and LGBT people especially face security risks . . . including identity theft, revenge porn, stalking, and all manner of scams.”
DAME Magazine

“It’s up to each one of us to protect our own privacy, and The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy is a crucial weapon in that fight.”
Book Riot

“This valuable guide is one that everyone should read.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) Magazine

“The internet can be both an exciting and a scary place, so consider going through The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy with your parents when you’re ready to start exploring widely.”
New Moon Girls

The Smart Girl's Guide To Privacy is ‘the talk’ 2.0 that all girls need. Heck, everybody needs this book. We all want our privacy, the majority just don’t realize how much we have already lost on that front.”
404 Tech Support

“A smart, engaging read that's also super useful.”

“The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy is specifically geared toward women and other vulnerable members of the online population who need guidance navigating the murky, often treacherous waters of the Internet.”
The Daily Dot

“A must-read for women of all ages.”

“Violet Blue has written the ultimate survival guide for anyone who wants to protect her privacy on the Internet.”
Dr. Keely Kolmes, PsyD

“A must-read for anyone.”

“Fantastic read!”
Anthony's Coding Blog

"If you have someone in your life who might be unaware of the various dangers lurking online (like a parent, child, or friend), gift them a copy of this book that covers online security and privacy basics. Blue does a commendable job of ensuring the reader stays informed, but far from overwhelmed."
—Britt Kemp, Bishop Fox Labs

The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy is a straight-forward how-to for protecting your privacy and undermining the social media settings that want you to share potentially intimate details with the world...I found the book alarmingly handy.”
Bitch Magazine

“For girls and women in the technological age, this guide to Internet safety is a must-read. It’s a young woman’s invaluable guide to empowerment, addressing not only the why of keeping strong boundaries but the how.”
Foreword Reviews

Extra Stuff 

Violet Blue was interviewed about The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy at Mozilla's quarterly Privacy Lab.

Read Violet Blue's article, “9 Ways to Keep Your Online Info Safe and Secure,” in BUST Magazine.

Listen to Violet Blue's interview with The Joy Cardin Show on WPR, Wisconsin's NPR affiliate. 

Violet Blue spoke with the Columbia Journalism Review about The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy and how female journalists can mitigate the risk of reporting online.