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Old 04-20-2008, 01:42 PM   #1
Spuds Mum
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Default Safety on the forum - please read

There have been concerns raised over the increasing use of members' real names on the forum. It has been agreed that we ask all members to refer to others/themselves in posts by their username only to help with safety and security.

We sometimes forget that anyone can view the contents of our threads whether members of HC or not, and so we all must be careful of giving out details which, over a period of time, can tell people much about ourselves.

Members deciding to share their real name with others should be aware of your own safety, ultimately however, this is your decision. It is inadvisable to give anyone personal details which may put you in jeopardy, whatever age you are.

Younger members should be very careful to post only details as agreed with your parents or guardians. It is parents and guardians responsibility to ensure your safety, so please make sure they know exactly what you are telling people about yourself.

Please could I ask members to safeguard themselves and others in this matter. Should you identify that someone is using another members real name without their consent, please remind them of the good reasons for not doing so, and ask them to edit their post and read this announcement.

There has also been some concern over the posting of images on the forum particularly at Hamster Shows. Members are free to post images of themselves if they so wish though under 16s should check with their parents that this is acceptable. Hamster Shows are public events and it is quite in order to post general pics of the shows and individual and group shots of presentations and such like. If any member is not happy about any image posted of them or another member they should contact a moderator and it will be removed. If you do not wish to be posted then please mention it to the photographer and your wishes will be respected. Parents should be mindful of the pictures their children post and monitor their internet use. Under 16's should remember too that they must be as responsible and safety conscious as adults.

Here on Hamster Central we are only concerned for the welfare and safety of our users and with the forum family growing so large it is useful for us all to have a little reminder of our responsibilities and continue to enjoy the best hamster forum there is.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU GIVE OUT PERSONAL DETAILS SUCH AS E MAIL ADDRESSES OR AGREE TO PURCHASE ITEMS ON BEHALF OF OTHERS AND MAIL THEM. IT IS NOT SAFE TO DO SO AND EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE AN ADULT PLEASE BE CAREFUL TO MAKE JUDGMENTS ON WHO YOU ARE IN CONTACT WITH. PEOPLE ARE NOT ALWAYS WHO THEY APPEAR TO BE ONLINE.

Thank you.
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: SAFETY ON THE FORUM - PLEASE READ

Yes, of course, will only refer to user names from now on. I haven't used the forum for long so I don't know users' real names but where I've seen them on a post I've tended to refer to them. It feels friendlier to do this but, as you say, it's easy to forget the forum isn't a closed space. Happy to be reminded.
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: SAFETY ON THE FORUM - PLEASE READ

so i should chance my Name? :]
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: SAFETY ON THE FORUM - PLEASE READ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elms View Post
Yes, of course, will only refer to user names from now on. I haven't used the forum for long so I don't know users' real names but where I've seen them on a post I've tended to refer to them. It feels friendlier to do this but, as you say, it's easy to forget the forum isn't a closed space. Happy to be reminded.
This is an old post, not a recent reminder

IMO no harm can come from giving out your first name. OK, once you start to include last name, pictures of yourself, where you live (beyond just the city) then potentially you are traceable, and people should definitely think twice before doing so (and, if under 16, ask a parent/guardian!). If anyone knows my full name, and if they know where to look online then they can easily end up on my doorstep, or find me at work, or know where I am on certain weekends, thankfully it's never happened (and this isn't an open invite to stalk me ). So you do need to be careful...but I think a forum where you can only use usernames is kinda impersonal, and it definitely doesn't help with building a community, but no one should feel pressured into giving out info they don't want to!
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: SAFETY ON THE FORUM - PLEASE READ

Ok, i feel stoopid.

Yes I imagine its fine just using your first name. It makes sense for a forum to highlight this issue for its members’ security and the original post does state ultimately the info you give about yourself is your own decision.

It’s also about us having a responsibility to each other though and I hadn’t thought about this when I was using people’s first names (even though they had given them, themselves).

It might be worth mentioning (although please don't let me make anyone paranoid) even small bits of info can be collated to form a bigger picture of an individual. So much of our lives is documented and stored, I find myself reluctant to actively give more than required. And while none of us are likely to regret our discussions about hamsters , it does get stored for a looong time. There are aspects of my life that I regret being in peoples’ memories let alone stored in 0s and 1s! so, as you say internet nobody, it pays to be a bit cautious.

I agree, as well, this forum works in part because of a sense of familiarity between its users. I guess we just have to find our own way on this and think savvy, as opposed to binning our laptops, never going online again and hiding in a nook!! For me it helps to be reminded even though, you’re right, I am responding to a post made over 2 years ago!! Ha ha!

Last edited by Past_member_10071; 10-21-2010 at 07:45 AM.
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