Younger members, please read

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Younger members, please read

Postby Nate » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:15 pm

I kind of wanted to put this in that thread goldenspines made about rules for newbies, but I think this is important enough to warrant posting by itself. I've become very concerned because I've noticed a disturbing trend among some of the younger members, a very dangerous trend, and I think it needs to be addressed.

Younger members, by which I mean under 18...please, please, please, do NOT put where you live in your location block in your profile. This applies to even members over 18, to a degree, but by then you're considered a legal adult and are capable of making your own decisions.

I did an experiment last night, to see how dangerous this was. A member, who shall remain nameless, has their home city listed in their profile. This member is 14 or 15, I believe. I went to google and googled the name of the city. I then went to the city's web page, and clicked on information relating to school districts. I then perused the list of school districts and noticed there was only one middle school and one high school in that city.

I then went to the school website, where it had an address. Within a few minutes, I went to mapquest. Now, I know this person's name. Not their last name, but their name, and the name of their best friend. I also have a vague physical description of their appearance. So I now have their name, what they more or less look like, and a map to their school.

Now do you see the danger of putting your hometown in your profile? If it's easy for me, imagine how much easier it could be for someone who was actively trying to track you down.

In conclusion, younger members of CAA, be careful about giving out personal info. There isn't too much danger in giving out your state, but cities are a BIG no-no. CAA is a place full of friendly people, but there are a lot of dangerous people on the internet too.

Please exercise caution. I'm not going to tell you to be paranoid and think everyone is out to get you, because they're not...but the fact is that there IS danger online, same as there is anywhere in the world, and you need to be careful and protect yourself. Be smart, kids.

EDIT, as requested by silent-wings:

Some guidelines to abide to for internet safety are:
-when creating usernames, don't reuse the same one more than once
-don't use the same logo more than once unless you have a totally different username with it b/c ppl can have the same logos
-don't post your age/birthday (I mean to the yr too!)
-don't post your location (even a US state is iffy)
-don't post your name, full or not, (I found a girl once by her first name and initial of her last name. It took like 3 hrs tho. DX)
-don't copy and paste forum posts to other forums
-rename images posted, if posted in other places
-look over the site and read the about/info/rules carefully
-use a fake cover name like Jane Doe or John Doe (this is my fav method of safety )
-make a secondary email (with a fake name) for junk mail (full names can be shown thru emails.)
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Postby ChristianKitsune » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:34 pm

Now do you see why I don't like giving my name.. ^^; It's not cool man..not cool at all.

It's bad enough that people now know my state.. XD Because I have friends on here that I know in RL that don't mind giving that information out.

Doughie Chan and I did the same experiement last year...only we were able to find some mods, and a few other members... it's pretty scary what you can find on google..

same with phone numbers... XD that's not cool either.
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Postby Stephen » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:01 am

I think this is a really good point. For the time being, I am going to hit it with a sticky. I would hope everyone takes the time to make sure they are not sharing so much info on themselves.
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Postby Doe Johnson » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:28 am

I have to agree. Me and two other people on here tried to look up each others info one time. I found their addresses and phone numbers, and one of them never even gave out his name or town. They also found my information.
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Postby SnoringFrog » Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:10 am

Yes, very good point. When I first started foruming I didn't know this and would just give out my city and sometimes church or school whenever, definately not a god thing to do in most cases. Now, I just stick to first name and state, nothing more.
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Postby Lady Macbeth » Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:35 am

Yes, you can never be too careful about personal information.

A couple of years ago, I tried out some new genealogy software. I had thought that I'd checked a box that would replace living family members with the word "Living" and block their information; turns out, it did not do that, and I didn't realize it until one of my husband's cousins e-mailed me (very upset and very firmly worded) to say that she was shocked when she Googled her husband's name at work one day and found her family in my genealogy tables.

I apologized, removed the information from the web until I could fix the problem, and figured out what the problem was in the program.

In the meantime, she e-mailed me again to say that she could see that I had deleted the original, but the information was still in Google's cache and thus I obviously didn't actually remove it. That was when I found out the procedure you have to go through to contact Google to have something removed from their cache. -_-

By then, she had sent me a couple more very unhappy e-mails (she seemed to check every few hours or so and e-mailed me if it still wasn't completely obliterated from the web) so I got curious as to what else she might find if she did some searches besides Google.

Lo, I used the same information (her husband's name) and found an address and directions to their home on MapQuest. >_> At the time, I was ticked off enough that I didn't bother to inform her of that...it gave me a kind of guilty pleasure to know that while she was so up in arms that "anybody" could have stumbled on her family's names (which is not true - I checked, and they would have to have been perusing genealogy sites, and then known what they were looking for) that in reality anybody could have found her family's address and directions to their home. (Yes, I later passed on the information to her through family members, after my head cooled down. I wasn't able to tell her directly because she seems to have blocked me from sending her e-mails.)

If you think it's scary what you can find by searching for your name in Google, think of what the search-savvy can do if they have the same information and can apply it to targeted search sites like YellowPages or MapQuest! It doesn't take much to know more about a person than they think they're telling others.
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Postby rocklobster » Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:50 am

There are all kinds of scary and cruel people on the Internet and in the real world. Just because most of the people here are trustworthy doesn't mean everyone is.
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Postby Zarn Ishtare » Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:15 am

This is a very good point, Nate. Of course, everyone knows I'm in La-La land, so I'm not personally in danger, but the warning is a very important one.


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Postby Debitt » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:23 am

I commend you for posting this, Nate. I think younger members can get faaar too comfortable in a place like CAA, and it's good to remind everyone that we might not be the only ones reading this.

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Postby Fish and Chips » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:28 am

You only need to be a member in order to contribute to the forum, but not to read it. A good tip for people to get through their heads.
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Postby Radical Dreamer » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:01 pm

Fish and Chips wrote:You only need to be a member in order to contribute to the forum, but not to read it. A good tip for people to get through their heads.


Good point, and it's good that you posted this, Nate. Google and MapQuest can both be very useful in and of themselves, but people will use them for shadier reasons, and as Nate's experiment showed, it's VERY easy to find people when you have the right information. So yeah, in short, don't post personal information on the internet, stay in school, and don't do drugs. ;)
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Postby Mithrandir » Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:17 pm

Lady Macbeth wrote:If you think it's scary what you can find by searching for your name in Google, think of what the search-savvy can do if they have the same information and can apply it to targeted search sites like YellowPages or MapQuest! It doesn't take much to know more about a person than they think they're telling others.

It never surprises me how many people think they are immune to this. Justa ask JF what a "search-savvy" person can find. ;)
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Postby Mangafanatic » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:49 pm

ChristianKitsune wrote:
Doughie Chan and I did the same experiement last year...only we were able to find some mods, and a few other members... it's pretty scary what you can find on google..




0.0



Not me, I hope. I thought I had a secure address in La-la land.
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Postby MidnightWalker » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:05 pm

Very good point Nate
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Postby Felix » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:26 pm

Golly, that is a little scary. Something we all need to keep in mind, that's for sure. I'd be interested, though, to see how much you could find out about me based on the information you know, Nate. Not that I'm suggesting you should go and find out people's personal info just for the heck of it, I'm just curious.
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Postby the_lizardqueen » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:36 pm

It's a little bit of a tangent but I would really appreciate advice.

I've ended up in quite the jam here due to the whole personal information thing. I'm hoping to end up in Illustration as a career, which typically involves getting your real name and information out there on the net in order to find clients. Most of my classmates are posting full names, locations and resumes on their portfolio sites. I'm also not sure that copyrighting works as well under an alias, though I haven't researched it too much yet.

Ugh, as a result I've had to stop posting art around the CAA which is really the pits. I would LOVE to share my current work with my friends online here but I'm not sure that I'd feel comfortable with the information getting out to the entire forum with little or no control over who is looking at it. Plus, if I continued to post on the CAA and in a gallery under my own name, odds are somebody would be bound to stumble across both at some point. Especially on communities like Deviantart. Maybe I'm just paranoid O_o

I'm really quite confused about the whole matter and it's very frustrating >_<

Maybe I'll just have to get more prolific and start generating 'CAA art' in addition to 'real life job art'. Which could be easier said than done with my current time management skills :sweat:
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Postby Ingemar » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:22 pm

Well, this is all very nice. Nate has enough candour to reveal that he is a stalker.
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Postby Fish and Chips » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:30 pm

Ingemar wrote:Well, this is all very nice. Nate has enough candour to reveal that he is a stalker.

Nate is a many-faceted individual. Christian. Bot. Stalker. What's next on his resume', I shouldn't wonder?

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Postby Nate » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:36 am

the_lizardqueen wrote:It's a little bit of a tangent but I would really appreciate advice.

Well, I meant this more for younger members...like, y'know, 18 and under? XD]Nate has enough candour to reveal that he is a stalker.[/QUOTE]
Nah. I'm too lethargic for that. XD
F&C wrote:Nate is a many-faceted individual. Christian. Bot. Stalker. What's next on his resume', I shouldn't wonder?

You forgot "gamer." :p
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Postby Fish and Chips » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:55 am

Nate wrote:You forgot "gamer." :p

But never Poland.
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Postby Mr. SmartyPants » Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:39 am

Nate wrote:Nah. I'm too lethargic for that. XD

It's true! I was at Otakon with him! :lol:
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Postby Radical Dreamer » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:29 pm

the_lizardqueen wrote:Ugh, as a result I've had to stop posting art around the CAA which is really the pits. I would LOVE to share my current work with my friends online here but I'm not sure that I'd feel comfortable with the information getting out to the entire forum with little or no control over who is looking at it. Plus, if I continued to post on the CAA and in a gallery under my own name, odds are somebody would be bound to stumble across both at some point. Especially on communities like Deviantart. Maybe I'm just paranoid O_o


Actually, I'm preeeetty sure that CAA's gallery was made private a while back, so basically, only CAAers can look at it (someone correct me if I'm wrong). As far as I can remember, when I've linked people to a pic I uploaded to CAA, it's always come up with a "please sign in" message. So unless people start signing up at CAA for the gallery alone, your stuff should be ok. XD
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Postby spirit » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:45 pm

Hooray! People who understand the laws of safety...
It seriously is dangerous to do these things, but these days y'know, people
just think "Well it's never gonna happen to me". Words that WILL be regretted in the future.

I can't even understand why people put photos of themselves on the net. If a stalker recognizes your face, you don't think that person will try to confront you?
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Postby Nate » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:50 pm

spirit wrote:I can't even understand why people put photos of themselves on the net. If a stalker recognizes your face, you don't think that person will try to confront you?

I actually don't see too much of a problem with it, since I think it's far more dangerous to walk around in public. I mean, people you don't know see your face every day when you go to grocery stores, the mall, and so on. So I don't see how it's more dangerous to put your picture online than it is to walk around downtown without a bag over your head.

Note: I'm NOT saying "Oh putting your picture online is perfectly safe so it's stupid to not do it!" Just like anything else, personal information online can be used against you. I'm just saying that compared to giving out your name, hometown, or address, putting a photo of yourself online is pretty tame.
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Postby the_lizardqueen » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:57 pm

Nate wrote:Well, I meant this more for younger members...like, y'know, 18 and under? XD]Hmm. I have already started a bit of a portfolio site seperate from the forums that I frequent but it's really amazing how the internet is such a small place. One or two CAA members have wandered through my friends' sites and if I was to start crossposting any of my art to both galleries people would either A) put two and two together pretty quickly B) or start accusing me of stealing my own artwork :sweat:
Radical Dreamer wrote:Actually, I'm preeeetty sure that CAA's gallery was made private a while back, so basically, only CAAers can look at it (someone correct me if I'm wrong). As far as I can remember, when I've linked people to a pic I uploaded to CAA, it's always come up with a "please sign in" message. So unless people start signing up at CAA for the gallery alone, your stuff should be ok. XD

That is true ^^ But, the CAA also apparently has several thousand members and I probably know only a very small percentage of them. So long as they don't troll or end up being banned, just about anyone is free to join the forum. It does help though to have the galleries as a members only thing.
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Postby Icarus » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:06 pm

the_lizardqueen wrote: One or two CAA members have wandered through my friends' sites and if I was to start crossposting any of my art to both galleries people would either A) put two and two together pretty quickly B) or start accusing me of stealing my own artwork :sweat:


If you publish your work under the creative commons using one name, and then modify and repost it elswhere under another, no one will know unless you tell them.

But on the subject, I completely agree with Nate on this. Not long after joining this site, I found out *one young lady*'s age, first and last name, and city. And I was just following links on the Alliance. Had I wanted to, with that it wouldn't have been too difficult to find her address. Seriously, be careful.
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Postby teen4truth » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:14 pm

Thanks Nate, it's really cool of you to care like that *huggles*

And you got it. No towns. *goes to check her own profile*
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Postby ilikegir33 » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:03 pm

:hug: Nate, thx for the tidbit. I'd never put where I really lived. Of course!
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Postby Swordguy » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:36 pm

you kidding just knowing my first and last name you would have instantly have known where and who i was...you have to watch out especically if you are on or in a school club or sports.
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Postby Mave » Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:18 pm

It's a little too late for me as I've already rambled on random posts more than I ought to and have a blog. LOL So, I'm pretty sure it's easy to track me down. The only thing that I (might) have in my favor is that I move frequently (~ once a year). If not, then well, what's left is praying, a habit of watching my back wherever I go and arming myself with pepper mace. Wait a minute, I've been doing that my whole life.......

I suppose it's worse if you add your photo online on top of including your personal information. It helps stalkers to narrow down their targets IMO "Oh cute girl....maybe I'll scout the location around this time just to see if she really uses this path." :eh: But then again, what do I know about stalking?

Seriously, good point taken.
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