Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by budmickl, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. budmickl

    budmickl New Member

    On the FM board, there is a thread about the safety of using this site because if you Google your user name, you get a return of all your postings. Yes, it is scary. But in my experience, unless you have an user ID and log in, you can't read them. Of course, it doesn't take much to set up an user ID.


    There are several sites where you can sign up based on where you work, went to school, etc, as a way to keep in touch or get in touch with others from your past.

    Sounds fun, huh?


    I find it scary. Anyone can get access to these sites.

    If someone is looking for you and they don't know your married name (for us women), they can still search by maiden name and then it provides your current name. If this person can't reach you directly, they can find your siblings and so on.

    Unfortunately, I am going through a really tough financial situation. Bill collectors are calling all hours of the day and night, so many times, it's ridiculous. Well, my sister said one of the credit card companies called her looking for me and my b/f as he is on the account too. How in the heck did they track down my sister? we haven't had the same last name for 37 yrs.

    As I was vacuuming this morning and thinking about how Google brings up all our posts by user name, the answer came to me.

    They probably went to this high school site and did a search on my name, found out my maiden name and did search on last name and found my sister.

    Now this is all assumption on my part, but it makes sense to me.

    The information that is on this particular site is information that I have provided. I never thought about it being used in this way. I thought is was a great way to keep in touch and find old friends. Now I wonder if it is being used to track me down like a dead beat????

  2. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Hi -
    I read the post you are talking about and decided the other day to google my own name. I could not believe the garbage that came up. Obviously, none of the stuff that came up was me, but it still got me thinking.

    I myself have tried to search for people via internet. I had a dream once about a friend from high school and felt compelled to find her. As hard as I tried, I could not locate her. I even joined the stupid site where you find high school friends (big mistake).

    I have also googled my real name and my maiden name. Funny thing is my maiden name is the same name as someone famous, so luckily for me, anyone looking for me gets thousands of sites for this famous person if they were to search. When I googled my name now, it really didn't bring up much. I did come across a site however, that gave my name address and phone #. This really bothered me because our public information (in the phone book) is in my dh's name.

    I haven't lived at home for 18 years, and yet my mother will tell me she gets calls at her house looking for me (credit card companies and the like). She thinks I'm trying to pull something by using her address - this is crazy.

    I also get mail at my house for my mother in law (magazines) - she passed away many years ago, and we were NOT living here when she passed, so I have NO IDEA where these places make a connection! Really annoying. I even got a call on my CELL PHONE - it was a collection agency looking for the guy we bought our house from??!! WHY did they have MY CELL PHONE # connected to this guy! It is all crazy, really. Yet they can't find Bin Laden!
  3. budmickl

    budmickl New Member

    Not to upset you but.... I did Google search on your user ID and PROHEALTH. Tons of hits and a lot of them were your postings...

    I know, it's scarey what we have opened ourselves up to with the wonderful world of computers!

  4. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Hi Bud-
    What do you mean by "hits"? I don't know much computer lingo so I don't know what that means, but I am really scared now.....I did what you said and it brought up everything I have ever done. I don't think I want to post anymore. Who knows who is out there reading my thoughts that I only want to share here?

    Is there a way for people to find you by your real name and username?
  5. budmickl

    budmickl New Member

    Is this a nickname you use in real life? If not, then you are <u>PROBABLY</u> OK. Since we don't put names or email addresses in our profiles or postings, no one should be able to identify you.

    For me, anyone who knows me knows the budmickl is me. It's my dog's names.

    But honestly, I haven't said anything here that I wouldn't say in person to another person.

    Maybe we all just need to take a breath, step back and think about it.

    As far as ProHealth goes, in my opinion, we are moderately safe from intrusion. I say moderate because if someone wants find out what is going on, who is saying what or whatever, there is a way. You don't have to be a computer genius.

    Again, let's just think about it and relax.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/01/2007]
  6. budmickl

    budmickl New Member

    I just don't want my family hounded by the dogged bill collectors. But what can I do? Just grin and bear it.

    It's the price of progress!

    I'm fine almost everything and have other things right now to worry about, not who is searching for me. Heck, maybe an old boyfriend is dying to meet me again and leaving me a ton of money. I wouldn't mind being found then!

  7. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    It is scary just how much info is available online to anyone who has access to a computer. I wouldn't worry about or any of those sites, because it is much easier to find info about someone on other sites.

    For instance, if you want to see what I am talking about try or If I type in just my last name, city and state, it gives back my address, my relatives, my phone number, and a handy map right to my door! One of those used to even tell what you paid for your home. And this is FREE info, available to anyone. And with a simple click and 20-50 bucks, they can get a whole lot more info about you. But I imagine the bill collectors have free access to this type of info.

    One thing you have to worry about online are "trolls"- those obnoxious individuals who like to frequent message boards for the sole purpose of causing trouble. Thanks to the hard working moderators here, we don't have that problem on this site. But I have experienced it personally in the past on other sites.

    I used to post on the soapnet message board, which was crawling with trolls. Some of us used our first names, and casually mentioned what city we lived in. Long story short - the trolls were eventually able to piece together enough info to figure out who people were. They posted the addresses, children's names, etc. of the posters they were harassing. I got the he!! outta there after that!

    I have been a bit paranoid after that experience. It is a good practice to stick with the anon user name. Never post your real name! Try to avoid giving too much info about where you live. Because I know from experience that people can take a little bit of info here and there and keep notes till they have enough to piece together. I don't know if they actually do anything with it other than use it to scare you, but it's still scary and unsettling.

    I don't like the idea that our posts show up on google. I feel that our health discussions here are personal and private. I choose to discuss this with others who have the same issues, but I don't want just anyone to read my posts here. I pretty much quit posting on the FM board, for several reasons. I just read there. And here, I do a regular clean up of my posts. I go through and delete them all periodically.
  8. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Very good points MCD! Why single out the internet as the big scary box of monsters? Those same E-psychos are shopping at our grocery store and sharing the road with us every day. One wrong move and they could follow you home and burn down your house.

    But it is still alarming to see just how much private info is readily available to others online. I guess privacy is a thing of the past. You can't even sunbathe on your patio in private without the big eye in the sky watching. They say those satellites can read your mail over your shoulder.

  9. budmickl

    budmickl New Member

    I didn't mean to imply that there is anything we can do to prevent Big Brother watching us.

    Whether it's the Internet, driving down the highway or walking in the mall, every move we make is recorded. Every comment we make is recorded. Every keystroke is recored.

    I think we all need to be aware of what info we share but like it has been said here - anyone can find out anything either for free or a price.

    We just need to be aware.

  10. gardengirl12

    gardengirl12 New Member

    well i just googled my name and you are right post comes up but to read you still would have to have the persons pass word .so i think we are safe. linda
  11. desertlass

    desertlass New Member

    I think one important thing is that if we are on this site and google someone's username, then we are simply getting what we already have access to: their posts.

    If you are not a member of this site, then you don't know the username to begin with. So, Budmickl would not have known KJade unless she was already on here. And it looks like all she brought up was your posts.

    So, the loop is still closed, unless KJade uses this same username on other sites which include personal info. Does that make sense?

    If someone has their own name as their username, or puts info in their profile or in their posts that makes it easy for someone to piece together more info, then that is a different matter, and that is why we are warned not to do that from the moment we join.

    Some people have chosen to be totally public, and share their email adresses freely, and so they run a certain risk. But celebrities are totally OUT, and they are much more likely to be targeted than any of us.

    So, I think the safe way to go is to not have a username that would lead to any assumptions about one's identity. The only way they can connect your real identity to this site is if you have made that connection yourself, already.

    Obviously, if this is not the case, then someone let us all know. I think Prohealth goes to great pains to keep us safe.

    Does any of that make anyone feel better?
    take care,

    Lisette (this isn't exactly my real name, either-- it is an online persona name.)
  12. laceymae

    laceymae New Member

    Isn't funny how a well meant message can turn so ugly?

    Not talking about the chat board, but on the other board.

    I posted about safety last week and everyone was nice. someone else posted almost exactly the same thing and it turned ugly...

    I must say to you all that I am so thankful that you guys are so caring and sweet here...

    I didn't mean to stir things up...

    hugs to all
  13. budmickl

    budmickl New Member

    I truly didn't mean to case a ruckus. But in rereading my post, I can see how I cried wolf.

    I am more concerned about 'bill collectors' tracking down family members and harassing them.

    If I didn't feel ProHealth was safe, I would leave and have all my postings deleted.

    We can't protect ourselves 100% of the time, so we just need to be diligent in watching what is going on around us.