Revealing personal details on forums

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Ivo

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There are probably be 50 different views on this, so I thought it might be interesting to see what others think.

Some people on here are highly secretive, with some not even revealing where they are from, never mind anything else. On the other hand, I have probably revealed far too much, to the point that you could find my full name (I have even told at least one person my middle name via PM), my date of birth, what I look like, things I like to do and approximate area of residence at both ends of my life using this forum alone. And this is in spite of having no personal details anywhere in my avatar, signature or profile name (apart from a vague location)!

I have probably gone too far. But is it an entirely bad thing? What are your thoughts on this, and how much would you be willing to disclose about yourself (you don't actually need to; I'm just wondering what your limit would be if it was enforced upon you)?
 
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richw

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I am sceptical of revealing details because you never know who may read and take a dislike or get upset to a comment I may make somewhere, employers, someone with a grudge, friends family the list may go on. For this reason I avoid revealing details that could positively identify me. The village I live in is relatively small can't be more than a few rich's in the village, but the details I've stated don't give a 100% identity of me, reducing the possibility of something coming back to me.
 

district

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I have no problems whatsoever with giving my information. Most people know my full name, have my Facebook, and I'm not entirely secretive about anything else, either.
 

33056

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I think it is generally an age-related thing, many people of my age group (middle aged!) wouldn't dream of giving too much information out to strangers. Those that know me personally will probably know my name, where I live and work and even what I do for a living, I'm not that paranoid :lol: but I do draw the line at putting information like that on-line for all to see.

PS: You won't find me on Facebook or any site like that.
 

DaveNewcastle

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I'm puzzled about the self-centred language of the thread title: "Revealing personal details . . . "

It presumes that others reading this stuff have any interest in the poster's personal details. Wrongly, I suggest.

When dozens of flyers come through the letterbox every week (pizza restaurants, clothing collection, plumbers looking for jobs, new hairdresser, etc) I don't consider these to be businesses 'revealling personal details'. I consider it to be junk, noise, arrogance, wasted material and its unasked for.

When people post about themselves on an internet forum, I find that to be the same: junk, noise, arrogance, a waste - and its unasked for.

It surprises me that people believe anyone else wants to know - I'm sure that I have never posted anything which expressed an interest in the personal lives of others, and to be absolutely clear, I'd prefer not to, just as I'd prefer not to receive those flyers through the letterbox.
 

Temple Meads

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I've not got a problem with revealing a reasonably large amount of stuff, you won't find full name, address, date of birth, anything that personal, but I do feel you need to give a certain amount away so you can maintain a personality.
 

Lrd

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I don't mind telling people things about myself (probs won't tell them my full address and probably not my email address either) but I won't advertise it, apart from my location and my username is my name anyways (which I have been thinking about changing). My pic is on my twitter and thats about it, I doubt I will give out my facebook as I consider that a bit more personal and a bit more secure.
 

GB

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I'm puzzled about the self-centred language of the thread title: "Revealing personal details . . . "

It presumes that others reading this stuff have any interest in the poster's personal details. Wrongly, I suggest.

When dozens of flyers come through the letterbox every week (pizza restaurants, clothing collection, plumbers looking for jobs, new hairdresser, etc) I don't consider these to be businesses 'revealling personal details'. I consider it to be junk, noise, arrogance, wasted material and its unasked for.

When people post about themselves on an internet forum, I find that to be the same: junk, noise, arrogance, a waste - and its unasked for.

It surprises me that people believe anyone else wants to know - I'm sure that I have never posted anything which expressed an interest in the personal lives of others, and to be absolutely clear, I'd prefer not to, just as I'd prefer not to receive those flyers through the letterbox.

"Revealing personal details" is pretty generic, I cant see how you think its "self-centered". Its not like he put "revealing my personal details...please look".

People reveal all sorts of details about themselves all the time across many different threads and different forums. One thread might be about forum members ages, another might be about where they live or what job they do, some sign their name. These types of threads could be weeks or months apart and while one piece of detail doesn't sound much, it soon adds up.

Quite ironic though that you have added your location and what could reasonably be expected to be part of your name.
 

Oswyntail

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I had a slightly different take on this when I saw the title. On another forum, there are often requests for contact details of third parties, always with an apparently bona fide reason. Our policy is that that sort of personal information cannot be handed out, even by PM. If anyone has the requested details, they should contact the person whose details are sought, and tell them someone is looking for them
This arose because of a case where a young lady was being sought by an ex-boyfriend, though that was not the reason he gave. She had moved to another part of the country because, in the privacy of their home, he had been dangerously violent, while being a "good chap" elsewhere. Sadly he found her through the forum.
So by all means share your personal stuff here, but bear in mind that not everyone is as innocent as they seem.
 

richw

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I had a slightly different take on this when I saw the title. On another forum, there are often requests for contact details of third parties, always with an apparently bona fide reason. Our policy is that that sort of personal information cannot be handed out, even by PM. If anyone has the requested details, they should contact the person whose details are sought, and tell them someone is looking for them

A breach of dpa handing out a third party contact details as well I imagine



Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk 2
 

WelshBluebird

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Personally, I don't really mind. I had an incident a couple of years ago which taught me to be a bit careful in things I may say on line, but in terms of personal details like my name, where I'm from / live etc (although exact addresses are a bit too far), then it doesn't bother me.

The only exception would be if it is something that may affect my personal security (or things like bank account details, access to other accounts in my name, etc).

I'm puzzled about the self-centred language of the thread title: "Revealing personal details . . . "

It presumes that others reading this stuff have any interest in the poster's personal details. Wrongly, I suggest.

Doesn't seem at all self-centred.
The title describes what the thread is about. How much personal information people reveal on websites such as this.
 
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NY Yankee

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I highly doubt that anyone is going to take a plane from Heathrow to my home in Queens, New York City, but I still won't post my address here. The only thing I will say is that I'm a black American and I'm 27.
 

MidnightFlyer

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No, I doubt they would. However bear in mind that anyone in the world can see this. For all you know a fellow Queens resident or someone in the Bronx or Manhattan could read everything you say.
 

Crossover

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I tend to stay fairly quiet on the whole. People who have met me know a bit more of who I am, otherwise I believe it is relatively vague.
 

OxtedL

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I once decided to trace a random troll's general internet presence, basically because they'd annoyed me. It's a bit disconcerting what you're able to find.

Starting with just a Yahoo Answers username, I soon had a full name, birthday, age +-3 years and current town of residence (from their facebook account) together with a decent idea of their personal interests and the name of their secondary school, at which point I decided that I was possibly going a bit far with it, and stopped. This took maybe 50 minutes, although bear in mind the guy was an idiot and left a reasonably simple trail.

Based on this experience, I reckon that anyone who really wanted to find out about you, Ivo, probably wouldn't have too much of a hard time working out where to look, but would have to be quite dedicated to the cause to build anything like a comprehensive picture up, mainly because of the sheer volume of stuff they'd have to sift through.

Now that I've got you halfway to trying to get me under a restraining order, you do have to wonder why or how you'd actually use any of the information you could find, though. You'd be quite unlucky if someone who actually intended to do something with it stumbled across it.

Best thing to do though is (of course) to lie about various important details. I, for example, am a actually a 45 year old management consultant from Watford who's never been anywhere near Oxted in their life, and I bet none of you had realised...
 

DaveNewcastle

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I am still concerned about this question of 'revealling'. I'll take another approach to it this time.

There are several examples of fairly simple detective work building up enough of a personal profile to correctly identify individuals (I was involved in a matter recently where both parties had a Facebook account which seemed to confirm the connection - not evidence in itself, but enough to justify further investigation - investigation which confirmed the connection).

Posts on here (and elsewhere) are generally available for others to find for many years after they were posted. We often forget that things will change. We will have new partners / employers / funders / neighbours / lenders etc and we may not wish to be judged and evaluated by reference to our past. e.g. There are still posts on here from the forum's inception. We leave a trail. And we cannot predict when we might wish there wasn't the opportunity for absolutely anyone to read every detail in that trail.

From the responses so far, I guess some people interpret my views as critical or hypocritical. So let me illustrate:
There was a tradesperson who didn't declare all his income to the Inland Revenue. On his death, his estate passed to his children and grandchildren. They spent the money. They told their personal stories on Internet fora. The Inland Revenue found them and reclaimed the money from the grandchildren long after they'd spent it. The Internet evidence wasn't used as Evidence, just as a means of finding them - and they didn't even know that their grandfather had done anything wrong.

Another illustration would be staff who lost their job after posting something les than rosy about their employment or employer - I've long lost count.

And what about those of us who have an ambition for the future, and then find that others are assessing us on a trail of historic postings?
 

NSE

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I'd never give out money or job related stuff, or my address. I haven't given my name out, I speak often about areas of the railway I'm familar with, but not with dates for people to piece together the pattern of my life. Mind you, I have facebook and twitter so people can see bits of me online anyway, but not linked to here.
I saw someone put here, you don't know me, so you don't need to know anything about me. But, what intrigues me is the possibility that actually we could be friends at college or work or something. I keep my train interest quiet, and I wonder who else does too
 

WelshBluebird

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I keep my train interest quiet, and I wonder who else does too

That's actually a good point.

Especially for those of us who use the same username across multiple sites (I do - indeed I have had a few PM"s on different sites asking if I am the same WelshBluebird as an another site - most of the time I am, though there are a few sites where someone else has that username).

It isn't something that I mind people finding out, but it isn't exactly someone I broadcast either (although technically, I DO broadcast it because anyone can just google my username and find me on here).

And yes, the whole "we could be friends in real life" thing is something I have encountered before on a site before. It's kind of cool sometimes, but other times it is handy if the site in question has an option to post anonymously (which thankfully that very website does).
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Call me "old fashioned", but there is no way that I would ever consider joining the countless millions on Facebook and similar organisations, nor will I ever subscribe to Internet banking.

Even when Google decided to proceed with their new-style "privacy" ( should this really be referred to as "lack of privacy" ) measures, I was one of those who immediately went to the trouble of requesting the "opt-out" function on all the web pages where this was required to be done.

There are those who have informed me that they have entered my username into Google....and have come up with someone in Bury..:roll::oops::shock:
 
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GuyBarry

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When I started on Usenet in the early 90s, it was standard practice to post under one's real name. Many Usenet posters still do. I've continued to post under my real name both on Usenet and Web forums for over twenty years, and I've never had any trouble because of it. When did anonymous posting become the norm?
 

Clip

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I saw someone put here, you don't know me, so you don't need to know anything about me. But, what intrigues me is the possibility that actually we could be friends at college or work or something. I keep my train interest quiet, and I wonder who else does too

We could be and anyone I work with could be anyone on here. But I dont want anyone to know that - not for any other reason as much as I just dont see the point. Any forum I use I use a differrent name and email address - even some still have my old NR one(which was silly of me) but I just dont see the need for anyone to know who I may be.
 

SS4

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Call me "old fashioned", but there is no way that I would ever consider joining the countless millions on Facebook and similar organisations, nor will I ever subscribe to Internet banking.

I'm on Facebook but I'd certainly not call you old-fashioned for not doing so; with hindsight I'd not have joined either. I'd say you are wise for not doing so and that simply dismissing such views as old fashioned is counter-productive. It seems to me that there are fewer concerns about what your data is being used for, part hidden behind long, boring and difficult to read user agreements (a huge problem is that huge swathes don't read them at all) and part because of not caring.

Checking the Android market reveals what some of the apps demand is ludicrous and way over the top for what's necessary for the app to function - the facebook app is terrible for it.

Even when Google decided to proceed with their new-style "privacy" ( should this really be referred to as "lack of privacy" ) measures, I was one of those who immediately went to the trouble of requesting the "opt-out" function on all the web pages where this was required to be done.

I did that before they changed their policy (thanks to reddit reminding me).

I limit the personal data I give out online and equally importantly choose strong passwords. You could probably find out my real name without too much digging but not much else.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I don't care who knows my date of birth, what are they going to do with it.

Why should they know though? Isn't date of birth one of the typical security questions for if you forget your password?

When I started on Usenet in the early 90s, it was standard practice to post under one's real name. Many Usenet posters still do. I've continued to post under my real name both on Usenet and Web forums for over twenty years, and I've never had any trouble because of it. When did anonymous posting become the norm?

When identity theft started to go online I guess.
I suspect it's when people became more web savvy or started to put more details about themselves online? (OK, the two are mutually exclusive I give you that). I'd hazard a guess that in the early 90s the internet was a more friendly place where there was no such thing as identity theft or phishing or at the least these weren't connected with the internet at the time.

If anyone remembers the thread about the bite card changing and it now requiring a mobile number for no real reason? Sure you needn't give a real number but that's not the point.
 

Temple Meads

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I'm on Facebook but I'd certainly not call you old-fashioned for not doing so; with hindsight I'd not have joined either. I'd say you are wise for not doing so and that simply dismissing such views as old fashioned is counter-productive.

As I've mentioned before, a few of my best friends live a long way away, and fa cebook is the best way to stay in touch, you do feel that you are closer to them due to it.

But apart from that scenario, it isn't all that, I did once say I'd never join though, I did, and it's a lot better than I thought, it does deserve to be given a chance I think.
 

SS4

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As I've mentioned before, a few of my best friends live a long way away, and fa cebook is the best way to stay in touch, you do feel that you are closer to them due to it.

But apart from that scenario, it isn't all that, I did once say I'd never join though, I did, and it's a lot better than I thought, it does deserve to be given a chance I think.

It has it's uses, mainly that it's far easier to stay up to date with what they're doing in pictures and whatnot.

Personally I prefer IM for those real time conversations and emails when that's not possible although I still use fb to keep abreast of offers and with people.
 

Temple Meads

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It has it's uses, mainly that it's far easier to stay up to date with what they're doing in pictures and whatnot.

Personally I prefer IM for those real time conversations and emails when that's not possible although I still use fb to keep abreast of offers and with people.

For real time conversation, Skype will always top the chart for me, although facebook's chat feature when in "full" mode isn't that far behind.
 

Ivo

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I agree on Facebook. I only agreed to join because it was an easy way to stay in contact with my family should I not be able to do so by phone (as it turned out, I was signed up by a friend a couple of weeks before I was ready to anyway :roll:).

I have been on it twice all year.

For real time conversation, Skype will always top the chart for me.

Without a doubt, Skype is the best for that. I have to say though Temple Meads, you do seem to be on there without actually being present an awful lot! :lol:
 

VTPreston_Tez

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I reveal some of my details so meets are easier, but of course nothing that can be a danger. If I feel in danger, I can use this or contact the police (learnt in school today).
Lampshade in particular has told me where his high school used to be as well.
 
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