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Lets talk about privacy

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    Lets talk about privacy

    As you all know, I am pretty open about who I am and I am gullible (maybe you didn't know that)
    Recently something happened that has me rethinking what I can post on this site and want you all to think before you post.
    Of course, we know this site is not private. But, I honestly don't think we think about who is listening in to our conversations and maybe taking notes, but listen to my story and maybe you will rethink your postings.
    A very lovely person called me on the telephone and was very upfront with me about the fact that she is a lurker and not a member of our forum. She remembered some information that I had posted before retirement and used it to google me and found my phone number. She lives about 80 miles from me and was very open about her introduction to me. She wants us to meet and I am going to have lunch with her. She really sounds like a fascinating person to know.
    This got me to thinking though, that not all the lurkers will be lovely women that I would like to meet and that perhaps over a period of time, you could piece together a great deal of information about any one of us just from little things we mention on our posts. We have become quite intimate friends, you and I, and we want to share personal information. I think that is just human nature. I love my forum friends and think how wonderful it would be if when you are traveling you just dropped by. But, that's my gullibility talking. I think you are all just like me, and probably most of you are.
    So, now that I've said my piece, I am going to scrub my user notes and if you want to contact me, use the PM device which most of us do. I don't know if info that is archived in our posts can be removed and at this point, I'm going to leave that alone. Just be aware, not afraid.

    Re: Lets talk about privacy

    I have to say, this sounds a little sketchy to me. I would be careful meeting a stranger. She very well could be as innocent, lovely and friendly as the day is long, but you don't really know that and couldn't know that from a phone conversation. Doesn't it raise a red flag that she went to all that effort to find you? If she is as fascinating and lovely as she sounds, she would no doubt have many local friends and wouldn't need to hunt down strangers on the internet. Please, just be careful.
    Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway. ~John Wayne

    Quilting is my passion . . . chocolate is a close second!


      Re: Lets talk about privacy

      This does raise concerns for sure, but I'm certain that she is a lovely person. Perhaps, she has read about your good work and want to meet you to assess you, and make a donation in kind or to the Shriners.

      There are lots of bad, sick people in the world, but there are many good people, and I like to think that quilt groups would attract this type of individual. I would become a recluse if I believed the world is out to get me. Although I'm on FB, I don't post pictures of family there as much any more, or very rarely. I think it's wise not to post pics of your definite vacation plans if no one is staying at your house.

      I respect your fear.

      Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

      Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.


        Re: Lets talk about privacy

        I have often thought about this very thing. You have to watch what you put out there. Even small tidbits can be used to build a profile of a person. Be conscious of what you it and make adjustments to your post as you see fit. I use Terry's aware, but not afraid.


          Re: Lets talk about privacy

          Terry, I'm glad you are meeting in a public place, and I hope a wonderful friendship results. I have had the pleasure of meeting face to face with several of the forum members and my life has been blessed with those experiences and the local friends I have made.

          But your caution about privacy is a valid point. We do tend to share some information openly for all to see without thinking of who else may see it. Also just opening ourselves up, showing that we are warm friendly and generous people can be used against us.

          So have lunch with this person if you feel comfortable doing so, but keep your radar on and trust your instincts.


            Re: Lets talk about privacy

            I don't know about this site so much, but for sure Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are huge savers of private info. I'm cautious in that I don't post my address in my user notes. But, I'm sure savvy people can find you using your IP or whatever.

            Good to be cautious, but for sure not to the point of recluse. I'm echoing what Caroline said. I've met some amazing women because of this forum and made some friendships I am blessed to have, not sure that would have happened w/out this.

            Quilters make great comforters.

            Friendship is sewn with love and measured by kindness.


              Re: Lets talk about privacy

              Wow. I think it is strange that this woman doesn't belong to the forum but wants to meet you. That feels a little like stalking to me. Make sure when you meet her that your dh knows her name and the name of the place where you are meeting. My address is in my user notes but even if I deleted it, it is pretty easy to google it if someone wanted to find me. Maybe it was a mistake for me to use my real name here in the first place? Thank you for the warning though, and I hope you update us after your lunch.


                Re: Lets talk about privacy

                Good advice. Make sure someone is guarding your home while you are away...just in case.
                No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.


                  Re: Lets talk about privacy

                  While I don't believe "everyone's out to get me" I AM something of a recluse and pretty private about my life. But I HAVE seen the damage being too open has done to others, and originating from places just like this group. DO be careful.
                  TRUTH is seldom appreciated, unless you happen to agree with it. When you don't agree, you just call it rude.


                    Re: Lets talk about privacy

                    You all are so very lovely in response and like I said, I can't turn my back on someone reaching out toward me and the possibility of a grand friendship. I have deleted much of my personal info from my profile and have considered changing my user name but am not to that point...yet...
                    I have (by this persons invitation) googled her and all the info that I was given is there. I am not on facebook (anymore) because it didn't feel like a safe space. Sometimes I miss the convenience of it but know that its not a good place for me. My children are all there and I have told them that I cannot keep up with them thruthis venue and that they should tell me by text or phone if there are things I would like to be included in knowing.
                    Life is moving fast for this old woman


                      Re: Lets talk about privacy

                      I think a person needs to use the same caution they would use when meeting a person for a sale in the likes of say Craigslist. Over the years I've met with people I've come in contact with over the Internet. This goes back into the late 90's. My rule of thumb was pretty much first email contacts, then phone contacts and then they also had to have met someone in person from the Group I was active in. Even with that you can still make mistakes although it is less likely.

                      I think many of us have noticed that lying seems to be more common then years ago and frankly I'm quite shocked to see just how common place it is. It was not all that uncommon to finally realize that people also do seem to create "persona's" for their Internet experiences. Some people are very very good at that and you'd be surprised the lengths to which they will go to become who they want. This is not all that uncommon in places like Facebook. I've known several people who had their information taken to create a false FB page including the use of their photos. While you don't hear of it all that often now, stalking was also a more known concern.

                      Another trend I see for concern, although I'm sure it's always been the case, is that, yes, bad people do target those who they find are nice people. They don't think like you and me, they see "nice" people as easy targets and gullible. These people are very,very good liars, they are also excellent manipulators. I know because some, certain types, sat across the desk from me and it was my job. You just need to know this, you can always be friendly and still not put yourself in jeopardy.

                      I love this group, I was shocked at the number of really nice people who congregate here. I consider that a rare thing on the Internet. Even so, I'm very careful of the information I put in a forum. I still don't use my real name or any identifying information, it's too easy for the outside world to access forum information.

                      Sorry, I don't mean to scare anyone but really......

                      Terry, I really need to say this because I think you are a lovely person. If I didn't "know" you for a while now, based on your postings and I was just a browser, I'd think of you as a fairly wealthy person, with means, you have a charitable soul and speak in an unassuming way, you appear outgoing. As a "nice" person I could see me wanting you as a friend but also as a "bad" person I could easily see you as a target. Years ago I came to the conclusion that I had many friendly acquaintances in my life but I would consider myself to be most fortunate to call even 5 people over a life time as true friends. I'm up to 4 at this point :-) If she wanted to donate a quilt to your cause that easily could have been done without searching you on the net for more information. As far as I can see the only thing she can do is to gather more info about you then she has already seen out there. Obviously she has already alerted your alert buttons, why walk further down that path of woulda, coulda, shoulda. :-)
                      Women are Angels.
                      When someone
                      break's our wings
                      we will continue to
                      fly...usually on a
                      We're flexible like that.
                      - embroitique


                        Re: Lets talk about privacy

                        What comes to mind for me is, why didn’t she make a profile and send you a pm if she wanted to contact you?


                          Re: Lets talk about privacy

                          After reading your post this a.m., I've been thinking about it. I have met at least four ladies on two different quilting forums that I consider my closest and dearest of friends. Have also met three out of four of them face-to-face. You just know when a friendship clicks but you still have be cognitive of the warning signs. Why has this person just lurked and not bothered to join - doesn't want any accountability perhaps)? At the very least, could join, introduce and then determine how much they want to be involved. At that time, they could send you a personal message, but to troll you, get your phone number and call out of the blue - that just isn't the least bit appropriate and more than a bit creepy. Lousy tactics in general. The internet is the very thing that lets us meet folks that would never cross our paths otherwise but it can be a double edge sword. If you told the person you weren't feeling comfortable about the way this came about, they should understand completely. If they keep pushing and perhaps trying to coerce you, be concerned. Please, please be careful.


                            Re: Lets talk about privacy

                            Originally posted by grammaterry View Post
                            I have (by this persons invitation) googled her and all the info that I was given is there.
                            Keep in mind, anyone can google information on a person, then pass that info off as their own.

                            I hate to say this, but as I reread this thread, my radar is pinging. I'm not by nature a distrusting person, but something doesn't seem right.

                            Do be careful if you decide to meet this person, and as Granny Fran suggested, make sure your home is occupied while you are at lunch, and if you can make lunch a threesome, invite a friend to join you also or have lunch at your old place where they know you well!

                            (hhmm, I wonder if this person is reading this thread?)


                              Re: Lets talk about privacy

                              Well, Carlie, I am amazed that I came across as fairly far from it. I guess charity makes us all wealthy...right. We heat our house with wood, we do the chopping , and stacking and cutting. A luxury would be whole house heating. But, I'm not complaining. I've not been hungry since I left my parents home. I became smart enough to think ahead. But, yes, I cansee how people could prey on others and Yes, I will put up my hackles and be really alert. I intend to let this woman know that this is an uncomfortable place for me because of the method she used to contact me and therefore, will be taking the acquaintance slowly.

                              I too feel that finding a good friend is a difficult task. I have had three in my lifetime . We live across country from each other now so not much contact anymore. I know a lot of people but haven't had the friendship click happen now for a long time. Maybe I'm more picky than I used to be or maybe my definition of a friend is difficult for anyone to measure up to.