Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not doing this because I disrespect my readers or because I shun people. I have several reasons...
I will re-iterate what I replied under Joe's comment: I prefer to stay anonymous because I'm a very discrete person, both in real life and in game. I don't speak when I don't have anything to say and I don't like to attract any undue attention. In short, I like minding my own business.
I am also not a celebrity by any means. Although this blog has attracted more readers than I hoped for, I am just a regular guy, same as you, my readers. Just like some of you, I decided to painstakingly lay some on my thoughts regarding WoW on this blog. I don't seek any celebrity status by doing this and I would probably feel embarrassed if I were approached by a reader in game.
Another reason is that I don't want people to think that some of the tips I'm giving here apply strictly to my server(s). True, some of them do. For example, prices are certainly different from server to server, but the money making tips that I give should be taken with a grain of salt and tailored specifically to your own server.
However, one of the most compelling reasons why I don't think any WoW blogger with a successful gold income should reveal their identity is identity theft. If you haven't read these 2 articles on Wow.com, you should:
Beware of Blood Elves selling mounts
An interview with a scammer
The bottom line is that our online identities are very important to us. The fact that World of Warcraft is just a game doesn't make your WoW account less important. Especially to people who have played WoW for years, have several high level characters with nice gear and have accumulated a wealth of gold, mats and other items, the loss of an account due to hacking can be very painful indeed.
It is certainly plausible that some hackers will read gold making blogs and start targeting those wealthy characters owned by the blogger. Why not? If you read the second Wow.com article, the hacker claims he made 70K gold in a week by stealing other people's accounts. If he managed to infiltrate a single wealthy player's account, he would probably make that whole amount or even a lot more in a matter of hours.
Do I sound paranoid? Perhaps. In truth, I'm not losing any sleep over having my account hacked. There's a very low chance of that happening. As a long-time internet user and web programmer, I am situated above the crowd in regards to internet security. I am no guru by any means but I know the fundamentals of WoW security intimately.
It's better however not to tempt thieves. Flaunting your wealth in WoW is as bad as doing it in real life. Thieves will eventually figure new ways of breaking into people's lives and accounts and I don't want to make their lives any easier.
In conclusion, if your WoW account means a lot to you, if you have invested a lot of time in it, consider not giving out all your characters' details. Then again, you might be the open type and there's nothing wrong with that. However, always make sure to observe at least the most basic of security procedures:
- don't click on links you receive in your emails; instead type in the name of the site directly and only if you trust the site
- don't give your account details to anyone, including purported Blizzard employees. Remember, they will never ask you for your password.
- don't trust in-game strangers offering too-good deals
- use an antivirus with current updates; scan your computer regularly
- use a firewall
- use a spyware scanner; scan your computer regularly
- finally, use an Authenticator! This is the single most important item that can make the difference between a safe account and one emptied of everything of value. $7 is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING compared to the pain and suffering from the loss of an account.