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CPAknit
Seriously Hooked

USA
747 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  07:27:21 AM  Show Profile Send CPAknit a Private Message
Yesterday I was taking pictures of our family cookie party to put up on my blog. My niece got very upset. "Please don't put my picture on your blog, people can collect info from your blog- family names, where you live, etc and use this info to stalk you."
In some ways, I thought this was a little extreme, but also recognize that there are a lot of crazy people in the world.
What do you think about my niece's comment- and do you take steps to protect your identity in your blog?


Cindy
http://cpaknit.typepad.com/can_a_cpa_be_a_knitter_ca/

Renocat
Permanent Resident

1327 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  07:33:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Renocat's Homepage Send Renocat a Private Message
I didn't list exactly where I am from...just upstate NY. I also was reluctant to post a picture of me but decided to when I finished Samus. I also posted a pic of me with Ene's Scarf, but you can only see the back of me.

I don't post info about anything but my knitting so I don't think anyone would get very much info.

BTW if you want to see something scary...type you phone number with the area code but with out -'s and see what happens...

[img]http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/knit.gif[/img]
Kim
I have a blog! http://kimsknitpage.blogspot.com/
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platys
Seriously Hooked

USA
719 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  08:49:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit platys's Homepage Send platys a Private Message
I know some folks are pretty paranoid about having their picture on the internet. I had a friend freak out on me because I posted a picture of the two of us in my personal (not knitting) blog as part of a bunch of pictures from Thanksgiving.

I respect their wishes (of course), but I have to admit that I don't get it. A picture isn't going to make it any easier to stalk you, if someone wanted to. And it seems like the idea of someone actually finding my blog and deciding to stalk me is pretty remote.

Gail
http://www.knittergail.com
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Ivynforestsmom
Gabber Extraordinaire

465 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  09:07:59 AM  Show Profile Send Ivynforestsmom a Private Message
quote:
BTW if you want to see something scary...type you phone number with the area code but with out -'s and see what happens...

Kim, you totally freaked me out so I rushed to Google, typed in my phone number, and got "did not match any documents." Thank goodness. Phew! But now I'm really curious. What comes up when you type in your phone number?


Yvonne
"Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been."-Mark Twain
http://ybrach.photosite.com/
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Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2048 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  09:29:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message
When we first moved here we were getting phone calls for the previous owner of that phone number. I went to google and found that the "Johnson's" were listed with our new telephone number. I emailed Google and asked them to please remove the Johnson's name from our number. Now there is no listing for that number AND our name now does NOT appear in the phone book. Aparently, who ever puts the phone book out must use Google. I guess that is one way to get an unlisted phone without having to pay the phone company for the service! We are in information.

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!
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MMario
Permanent Resident

2210 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  09:38:07 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message
well yes, information from your blog can be "mined" just as any information you post here can be "mined"; If you want to be paranoid, one should never post any information anywhere on the internet you wish to keep private or semi-private.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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Renocat
Permanent Resident

1327 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  09:46:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Renocat's Homepage Send Renocat a Private Message
When you type in your phone number without the -'s (just use spaces instead) you get a listing of who has that phone number with links to yahoo maps that show exactly where it is located.
So type in "XXX XXX XXXX" with the quotation marks

[img]http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/knit.gif[/img]
Kim
I have a blog! http://kimsknitpage.blogspot.com/
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  09:51:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Nope. I did it with the spaces, without the spaces, with the quotes and without the quotes and got nothing like a listing....

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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azknitter
Honorary Angel

5539 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  10:17:07 AM  Show Profile Send azknitter a Private Message
Type your name into www.zabasearch.com and follow a few links (the free ones)for an eye opening experience.

There's a long list of other search engines I could post here that would shock you. I learned about them from my husband who is a police officer who specializes in investigating identity theft.

Never post anything you don't want the whole world to know.

There's no point in making it easier for ne'er-do-wells to misuse your personal information.

Trish
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Tangled Jane
Seriously Hooked

Canada
750 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  10:37:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Tangled Jane's Homepage Send Tangled Jane a Private Message
In my previous life, one more or less devoted to child protection, we never posted pictures of children in any way that might help identify them but, for adults, it's still a risky world. Many of us have blogs that detail specifics of our private lives so we're already already WAY out there.

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Lanea
Permanent Resident

USA
5194 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  10:42:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
Prepare for a bummer of a response, which is also rather sunny in its own way.

I gave a lot of thought to this issue because I was stalked when I was in high school by an abusive ex-boyfriend. 15 was a horrible year. I don't recommend stalking one bit--horrible experience, and I am careful to avoid winding up in a similar situation again. BUT most people are google-able. Fear should do you good--if it's not, you are using it incorrectly. Being googleable is hard to avoid, and is by and large harmless. You can work your rear-end off trying to keep yourself off the web's radar, and that won't necessarily protect you from someone who means you real harm, because most people who mean you real harm are already wrapped up in your life. It's the great tragedy of our species. And making yourself un-googleable may keep you from getting back in touch with someone you miss, which is a sad thing.

My stalker had no need of the computer to find me--he knew me. He knew where I lived, he knew my friends, and how to break into my parent's house, and how to scare me to the ends of the earth and back for a little while, and how to slow down my natural drive to protect myself from him. Thankfully, I woke up from that nightmare, and I knew how to call the police, and how to ask for help from my loved ones and professionals, and how to warn other girls, and how to make it clear that I was no good at being a victim because I'm far too strong for that. It stopped being enjoyable for him when he realized that scaring me would not make me love him, and that if he wanted to change me he'd have to actually kill me. I was lucky, and having an unlisted number or being un-googable wouldn't have helped at all. Knowing my own worth and my strength and that I was loved saved me--that's real safety.

I live my life very loudly now because I don't want that bastard or anyone like him to have any affect on me anymore--he doesn't deserve to. I occasionally worry and try to keep my picture out of papers and off of TV, but I regularly remind myself that I deserve safety and peace, and that almost everyone in the world thinks I should have those things. Living in fear of the unknown is horrible, and it robs you of so much joy and experience. Don't do it, and please don't let your neice do it. Yes, you should keep some things private on your blog, but you shouldn't be afraid to tell your own story because maybe somewhere there is a sicko. Sure, there are many sickos in the world, but we good regular folks outnumber them so many times over. When we forget that, they win. It's not remotely difficult to find my real name on my blog, and you can find my address if you want to, and I'm in the phone book. If anyone wants to come after me, they'll realize that I really know how to defend myself with my voice and my feet and with sticks, they'll meet my very protective dog and my very protective husband and my kind neighbors, who include Police and military personnel. If I ever feel really threatened again, I'll consider martial arts training. I'm not a gun person, but if I was stalked again, I would consider weapons training. And--most importantly--if anyone ever harms me again, I'll know that I still won, because I live my life as a peaceful, loving person, and no one can erase that.

People who want to take your money aren't interested in mining info from blogs--it's too much work. All they want are Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, your mother's maiden name, your mailing address--the sort of info your credit card companies want. You shouldn't have that info up on your blog, obviously. People who want to physically hurt other people seek out convenient targets most of the time--your friends and neighbors are much more dangerous than folks out in cyberspace.

So, read The Gift of Fear (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0440226198/qid=1135013396/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-4805058-6827200?n=507846&s=books&v=glance) if you want to really learn about people who stalk and otherwise victimize women in particular. And enjoy blogging, because the vast majority of people who read blogs are lovely or boring or snooty or funny or young, but only a teeny tiny percentage are bad.

Support our Yarniversal charities: http://www.cafepress.com/yarniversalcult
http://crazylanea.typepad.com/
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knottyknitter
Permanent Resident

USA
3702 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  10:46:11 AM  Show Profile Send knottyknitter a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by azknitter

Type your name into www.zabasearch.com and follow a few links (the free ones)for an eye opening experience.

There's a long list of other search engines I could post here that would shock you. I learned about them from my husband who is a police officer who specializes in investigating identity theft.

Never post anything you don't want the whole world to know.

There's no point in making it easier for ne'er-do-wells to misuse your personal information.


Trish



I learned there is someone with my name born every 10 years:) Not a common name and I knew about one of the people, but now I know of two others in the US.
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booglass
Permanent Resident

Costa Rica
1987 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  10:46:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit booglass's Homepage Send booglass a Private Message
I suppose it could happen that someone could use a blog to stalk someone but I agree that the possibility seems remote. I would think if you had someone stalking you in the past such concerns would make sense but I guess you never know.

Has anyone actually ever experienced this?

bonnie

Check out my blog:
http://www.booglass.typepad.com
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knit_cookie
Gabber Extraordinaire

388 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  12:26:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit knit_cookie's Homepage Send knit_cookie a Private Message
My blog is "Knitters Anonymous" and we never post our last names. For a while I was known simply as "C". My first name isn't common, but it's not that rare either. But if you google for my last name, there are about 30 results, all of which are references to me or my brother. I will occasionally google myself, and if I see any friends who have posted information about me with my last name, I will ask them to take it down. I am okay with having professional information online. Another friend of mine has been stalked (first in real life, then through the internet, to the point where even his friends have been harassed). Maybe I'm paranoid, but because my name is unique, I am more aware that any search results for it WILL lead to me.


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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  12:40:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
This is the first time googling my name has come up with anything referring to me in the first page, and that's because I'm in the book Cheaper Than Therapy. I never mention my last name or the names of anyone in my family (other than my brother, who also has a blog) online, and there are no pictures of me ... but the picture thing is more because I'm afraid people will try to roll me back in the water more than they're going to start stalking me.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2393 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  12:48:06 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message
My number(s) don't show up either. Nor does MY name...thank goodness. There are a lot out there WITH my name, though.
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Renocat
Permanent Resident

1327 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  12:50:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Renocat's Homepage Send Renocat a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by RoseByAny

Nope. I did it with the spaces, without the spaces, with the quotes and without the quotes and got nothing like a listing....



hmm...when I do that with my phone number and other phone numbers, the first hit on google is my name and address and a link to a map. I even tried a non published number and it came up.

Anyway...it was an eyeopener for me...

[img]http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/knit.gif[/img]
Kim
I have a blog! http://kimsknitpage.blogspot.com/
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xmasberry
Seriously Hooked

826 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  1:05:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit xmasberry's Homepage Send xmasberry a Private Message
i have a very unusual name. I know of one other in the USA with it, however. That came abouut when i called a customer service number several years ago and the person commented about how they had talked to someone with my same name in Florida, and how unusual that is. Because of that, i don't worry so much about what i say about myself online, even though i rarely indicate my name. Once people find out my name, they remember it, and short of changing my name, i know that there is little i can do about it. I don't want to limit myself by fear of what others may or may not do, but i try not to throw all caution to the wind either.

On the note of online security for children, however, I most likely would only use my kids' first initials, if i had any, and refer to my neighborhood in non-specific terms. The reason being that it doesn't take too much for a child predator to see a picture, find out the first name of a child, and figure out what school the child must go to based on neighborhood, go to the school and call the child by name, etc... We had a presentation by the FBI last year about some of the work they do to find predators online and i would have to say that i was dismayed that they didn't have more tools, even after confiscating the alleged predator's computer. They seemed to be adapting to the digital age much more slowly than the predators themselves, from what we saw (this was in a presentation to IT professionals).

holly x
"do what you love, love what you do, leave the world a better place and don't pick your nose" -Jef Mallett
little miss messy hair's blog
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westcoastchica
Seriously Hooked

Canada
788 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  1:59:24 PM  Show Profile Send westcoastchica a Private Message
Well, I am on the internet radar because of my work (everyone in our department has a little webpage), plus a link to my Masters project is on the net too. I don't worry about it too much though (although an ex that I really didn't want to talk to did find me that way after 6 years of no contact.

I keep my blog fairly anonymous, I haven't put my name, my workplace, or too many other identifying information bits. Works for me. Which reminds me, I really should *update* my blog HAHA

http://sapphyreknits.blogspot.com/
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Bullmonty
Seriously Hooked

814 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  3:10:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bullmonty's Homepage Send Bullmonty a Private Message
I participate in another forum and quite regularly, photos of handsome pets are 'stolen' and used by unscrupulous pet/puppy mills to advertise the pets/pups that they're selling. This are in print and on the web. We have vigilant members who spot these occurrences (still not 100% but we get them!) and most publications will take them down quite quickly when the complaints are lodged.

I shudder to think - it doesn't have to be material published in a blog. It could also be e.g. pics on Flickr or any one of these free web based databases. One would have to consider the possibilities of having your personal material misused. Chances are low because there's so much out there but who knows?

http://designsbyhuileng.blogspot.com
[img]http://www.bensonassoc.com/pct/p09/mom_baby.gif[/img]
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Mothlady
New Pal

38 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2005 :  4:14:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mothlady's Homepage Send Mothlady a Private Message
I've come across bloggers who quite openly tell their full names and hometowns with pictures to boot. I could never do that and I find it very surprising. Although I am afraid of outsiders getting too much info on me, the real reason I want to blog anonymously is that I don't want my family and friends to know that I'm a *cough, cough* high roller.

I use Anonymizer, a pseudoname and I never refer to anyone I know by their real name. I can't even use my first name because it is so unusual that if knitters from my home country would find out the name and the country, chances are quite a few people would recognize me. Of course, it wouldn't be the end of the world if that was to happen, but my family would think I'm crazy and I know some people who would bug me for money and free drinks [:00]

Mothlady
http://mothlady.typepad.com
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