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Forum Usernames

Discussion in 'Forum Issues' started by Top Cat, Sep 6, 2014.

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  1. Top Cat

    Top Cat Administrator Forum Volunteer

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic + Extra + Recorder
    Englishman in Wales!
    I regard it as bad security policy to use real names on publicly accessible Internet forums, and I note that there are a fair few users on the trueCall forum using what appear to be real names - possibly because the users in question are not familiar with Internet forums in general. I also recommend not using the same username or avatar on different forums.

    Like it or not, we leak information about ourselves with every message we post. Anyone wanting to search the Internet for information about us (eg current or future employers) will find forum posts if we use our real names. Persons with criminal intent can build all our content into a profile which might aid their criminal activity, either by identity theft or directly against us*. Using a different pseudonym for every public Internet activity one is engaged with minimises the risk (it amazes me how much information people are prepared to share on the likes of Facebook!).

    I intend to add some advice in the registration information, but to those for whom the horse has already bolted - contact me through a private conversation (click my avatar and then "Start a Conversation") and tell me what you would like your username changed to.

    * Possible scenario: let's say you use your real name on several forums, Facebook, etc. Facebook users typically say at least what town they live in, so unless you have a very common name it would not be too difficult to pin down where you live from phone books, electoral rolls, whatever. The same information might be obtained by interpreting forum posts, even if you don't advertise on Facebook. Forgetting that, you then mention (possibly on an entirely different web site) that you have just bought a fancy new TV (maybe as a review on Amazon) and somewhere else that you are going on holiday...
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