An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

Anonymity is important to many people who post here, because they are discussing personal problems that they may not necessarily want acquaintances to know about.

Here are some things you should be made aware of and consider when posting to any public forum, like TalkAboutMarriage.com

Search Engines & Scrapers - search engines index nearly all sites on the web, including this one. Anything you type in (other than private messages) can be found by someone who searches Google. If anonymity is a concern, don't post anything that could identify you via a Google search. This goes for usernames as well. Scrapers index content in a similar way, and can be used by companies to gather data on people.

Usernames - show up next to everything you post, and can be "Googled" as well. It would be easy for someone to identify other forums you post on through Google if you use the same username on other websites. If you are concerned about anonymity, do not pick a username that would make it easy for others to identify you.

Profile Information - if you are concerned about anonymity, anything you post in your profile, showing your birthdate, occupation, and pictures, will make it easier for people to identify you. You can also control some of your profile information through our privacy settings: http://talkaboutmarriage.com/profile.php?do=privacy


Pictures & Avatars - Please be aware that any pictures you post can be recognized by people who know you. We should be especially considerate of the fact that posting pictures of our children or others, associates them with anything we post on this website. Our children's peers or the children themselves could recognize a picture or avatar on the site.

Deleting Your Posts - Every user who has the ability to post on this forum also has the ability to delete any of their posts. This can be done by clicking the "Edit" button at the bottom of the post, then clicking the delete button at the bottom right of the editor window that opens. To list all of your posts, do an advanced search for "posts by this user" and enter your username. There is an option at the bottom left that says "Show Results as;" select "Posts." When you get the list or results, follow the same procedure for deleting the posts. We do not delete users or cancel accounts, however we do give you the ability to delete any information you put on the site. We are not responsible for your posts or removing them. If a post is in a locked thread, you can pm me or a moderator with a request to delete it (please include a link to the post).

Browsing History & Cache - Every website you visit is stored in your web browser's (like Internet Explorer and Firefox or Mozilla) history and cache. Sometimes browsers store logins as well. Anyone who has access to your PC can easily find out which sites you've visited unless you delete your browser's history files and cache.

Any other suggestions about anonymity are welcome.


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 09:30 PM
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

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Originally Posted by Chris H. View Post
Browsing History & Cache - Every website you visit is stored in your web browser's (like Internet Explorer and Firefox or Mozilla) history and cache. Sometimes browsers store logins as well. Anyone who has access to your PC can easily find out which sites you've visited unless you delete your browser's history files and cache.

Any other suggestions about anonymity are welcome.
Most web browsers have a "clear private data" or "delete recent history" feature in the menus, which can be used not just to help protect your privacy on a site like this, but can also get rid of cookies from sites like Doubleclick.net.

Google Chrome has "Incognito Mode", which gives a window that uses cookies and history and so forth for just that one window. When you close the window, any sites you visited and any cookies you got vanish.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 08:40 PM
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com



wow_______!

I'll have to test this out_____

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

An interesting article regarding privacy on the net from the WSJ today:

'Scrapers' Dig Deep for Data on the Web - WSJ.com

This is a good reminder to keep anonymity and privacy in mind when creating user profiles on social media sites such as ours. While we do not disclose any of our members' email addresses, other identifying information can be used to associate a username with a real name (things like birth dates, city or town you live in, whether or not you use the same username on other sites, etc.).

It's always a good idea to visit your profile privacy settings and make sure you are comfortable with how they are set.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 08:25 PM
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

"Anonymity is important to many people who post here, because they are discussing personal problems that they may not necessarily want acquaintances to know about"

I find this odd for you to say because YOU as a Forum Administrator allow posters to use their wives name, employment information and town in which she lives...what about anonymity for the other party?

Why don't you police the use of personal information for the other party?? You have been emailed in regards to this and still nothing has been done...
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

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"Anonymity is important to many people who post here, because they are discussing personal problems that they may not necessarily want acquaintances to know about"

I find this odd for you to say because YOU as a Forum Administrator allow posters to use their wives name, employment information and town in which she lives...what about anonymity for the other party?

Why don't you police the use of personal information for the other party?? You have been emailed in regards to this and still nothing has been done...

It is impossible for us to monitor and police every single thing that users of this website post on it. That being said, I will still make an attempt to remove anything that violates our forum guidelines, is harmful or offensive, if it is pointed out to me.

I may be aware of an email sent to me regarding the subject you are posting about, and I seem to remember responding asking the sender to show me (copy and past the URL) of the page where the problem was located. I never received a response. There is nothing I can do about vague allegations like this.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 02:22 AM
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

what about IP addresses? I don't understand how you can track IP addresses and this is really worrying me.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

IP addresses are recorded by just about any website you visit. An IP address is recquired in order for your computer to be able to communicate with the server that hosts the website.

IP addresses aren't usually a big deal though, because they don't contain personal identifiable information. The most info we (as in the general public) can usually obtain from an IP address is general location the user may be (like city or region), and the Internet Service Provider. The only way to find out more about an IP address user would be to request or subpoena records from an internet service provider.

Talk About Marriage has used IP addresses in the past to ban users who spam or troll the forums, signing up through multiple accounts. That is the only way we really use IP's. IP addresses are recorded for each user who registers on the forums, but again, they don't tell us much of anything.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:32 AM
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

I should have considered it earlier but is it possible to change your user name? Or is it possible to delete an account and start with a new one? Thank you for your forums. I have learned so much!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

If you send me a pm letting me know what you want your new username to be, I will change it.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 03:23 AM
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

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IP addresses are recorded by just about any website you visit. An IP address is recquired in order for your computer to be able to communicate with the server that hosts the website.
thanks for the reply but I am still fussing about this.

Couldn't someone take the IP addresses from multiple sites and join up various user names or topics? If I reply to a news article, they must also have my IP address, and so even though I post as anonymous there and with a user name here, couldn't someone figure out that it is the same IP? Or is that too much work?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: An Important Message about Anonymity on Public Forums like TalkAboutMarriage.com

The only people who have access to IP addresses on this website are me (the admin / owner) and the moderators. The only thing we use IP's for usually, is to catch banned members who create new accounts in order to circumvent being banned.

I can't speak for how other websites use them, but in most cases they are not publicized next to any comments you would make.

Another thing about IP's is that many ISP's (internet service providers) use dynamic IP addresses for users, so whatever IP you are using now, may be a completely different IP tomorrow or a month from now. Also, if you go online from a different location, like a cellular network or public wifi location, you will probably get a different IP from those different network locations.

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