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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    TE HQ, Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    1,899

    Personal Safety: A reminder for forum participants

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    We've recently received an email from a forum member expressing concern regarding the potential for stalkers to use information found on the forums to target women. That prompted us to issue this reminder of "best practices" for participating in public spaces (like these forums) on the internet:

    - Avoid disclosing personally identifiable information either in your profile or in your posts. This includes full name, street address, phone number and email address.
    - Those individuals wishing to exercise an abundance of caution should also consider avoiding using their photo as their avatar, or posting identifiable pictures of their car / bike / house.
    - Always keep in mind that the forums are a public space and *everything* you post can be read by *anyone*, indefinitely. It is hard, if not impossible, to fully "erase" something you've posted - it could have been indexed by a search engine or cut-n-paste by someone and posted somewhere else.

    While we have absolutely no reason to believe that anyone has ever been targeted via participation on the Team Estrogen forums, we nonetheless feel it is prudent to remind everyone to be cautious and protect their personal information.
    Susan Otcenas
    TeamEstrogen.com
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,617
    Thanks Susan for looking out for us!

    One thing I also do is make sure my rides (on places like Plus3 and Motionbased) are marked "private" if I've started from my house.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    Thanks for making this a sticky. It has crossed my mind a few times recently.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Wench View Post
    Thanks Susan for looking out for us!

    One thing I also do is make sure my rides (on places like Plus3 and Motionbased) are marked "private" if I've started from my house.
    +1, or alternately, start the track from a public place near your home. I live about a mile from a school, so I use that as the start/finish for bike loops that I create.

    Also, if you post pictures of yourself in an event, don't forget to fuzz out the number on your race bib.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,715
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Wench View Post
    Thanks Susan for looking out for us!

    One thing I also do is make sure my rides (on places like Plus3 and Motionbased) are marked "private" if I've started from my house.
    This is a good sticky. Sad, but true, the world has it's share of crazies. Thx for this point about the routes. I had some on-line as well, locked private, but it sorta freaks me out the more I think about it. Delete for me. Too bad things in the world are this way *sigh*.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    905
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Wench View Post
    Thanks Susan for looking out for us!

    One thing I also do is make sure my rides (on places like Plus3 and Motionbased) are marked "private" if I've started from my house.
    I consider mapping rides (or mapping locations and addresses in general) a very unsafe practice. Not to scare anyone - but really we have no idea what kind of creeps are out there lurking on the web.
    My ex-boyfriend used to map rides and stuff, and unfortunately it proved to be a very bad idea. He now shares his experience with everybody as a warning - especially for parents, given the widespread use of twitter etc among teenagers.
    Here is his story: he was on MySpace at the time, and he had posted some information there about his rides and links to the websites with his online cycling stats - so that his friends could see them. He is also a very social person so he had the tendency to approve everyone who asked to be friends on myspace - regardless whether he really knew those people or not. Well, at some point he attracted a creep that stalked him online and in real life. This woman befriended him on MySpace talking about the sports he liked, and pretending that they had met at some workshop. Then she started showing up at his rides, and following him here and there. She would look up his mapped rides and randomly appear everywhere, and just go talk to him or hang out with his group of friends. One day she showed up with water and stuff at a triathlon he was signed up for. After that he got completely freaked out and he told me about the whole story - which of course I had no idea about, since we were living in different States.
    At that point I decided to intervene, and basically told him that he had to disappear from the internet, change riding club, change routes, etc. He closed his MySpace and all of his online cycling and triathlon logins, he cancelled his public email accounts - and had to start all over. Lesson learned - he now opens his accounts with a nickname, and makes most of his info private so that he only gives access to his real friends.
    The sad part is that of course his stalker already knew most of his favorite rides, and so he also had to change his usual places to ride, and explain the situation to his riding buddies, etc. All in all it was a big headache.
    Of course I am the polar opposite - I don't even use my real name on Facebook where everyone else does And I'm one of those people with unlisted #s, everything under nicknames, and so on. Yes, I admit that I am a little paranoid about security in general - but I worked threat assessment for years before studying medicine, and I have seen too many stories with unhappy endings.
    And so my two cents is - to Susan: thank you for bringing up this topic, and to everyone else: please be careful and take no chances!
    E.'s website: www.earchphoto.com

    2005 Bianchi 928C L'Una RC
    2010 BMC SLX01 racemaster
    2008 BMC TT03 Time Machine
    Campy Record and SSM Aspide naked carbon on all bikes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    I was doing pretty good iwith the identity thing until i got my name on the front page of the NYTimes.
    Hopefully not too many bad guys READ the NYTIMES.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
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    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Bogota
    Posts
    294
    maybe TE could delete the "getting to know you thread" since it contains a lot of personal info and people forget to be discrete since it seems like such a safe environment,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Quote Originally Posted by tribogota View Post
    maybe TE could delete the "getting to know you thread" since it contains a lot of personal info and people forget to be discrete since it seems like such a safe environment,
    or allow people to edit their own profile.

    And not ask the question about posting personal pic.

    I appreciate this thread on knowing at least which geographic area and age range the woman is in. It's helpful to know vaguely the general membership composition of TE forum group. I agree that exact location details on ride routes etc. is not critical. More about the weather conditions, grade, distance, terrain is more meaningful to us as cyclists when we don't know each other's specific geographic location details.

    I have requested people /newbies who might sound a bit "strange" to go there to introduce themselves. Sort of a minor accountability thing to our group.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,061
    Thank you. I try to be discrete, but this a good reminder.
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    '09 Trek WSD 2.1 with a Brooks B-68 saddle
    '11 Trek WSD Madone 5.2 with Brooks B-17

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    944
    Thanks for the reminder!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,607
    didn't think I was guilty of giving out too much info then I read TxDoc's msg.

    hmm. realized I have posted my route on bikely.com and shows where I start and end. AT MY HOUSE. Guess better go and delete the route.

    Thanks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,617
    Quote Originally Posted by smilingcat View Post
    didn't think I was guilty of giving out too much info then I read TxDoc's msg.

    hmm. realized I have posted my route on bikely.com and shows where I start and end. AT MY HOUSE. Guess better go and delete the route.

    Thanks
    You might be able to keep it, just make it private. Then you can load it, or send a link to folks you know. That's what I do on Motionbased
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,672
    Yep, I tend to put rides on Bikely that start from a major intersection or other obvious starting point a couple of miles from my home. I know how to ride there from house.

    And on Plus 3 any ride that I start from my home I list as "private".

    2009 Lynskey R230 Houseblend - Brooks Team Pro
    2007 Rivendell Bleriot - Rivet Pearl

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kansas City metro
    Posts
    66
    Quote Originally Posted by tribogota View Post
    maybe TE could delete the "getting to know you thread" since it contains a lot of personal info and people forget to be discrete since it seems like such a safe environment,
    Is there a way to make the 'Getting to Know You' thread private to members only?

 

 

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